On Tuesday, top health officials in The United States warned Americans to prepare for serious disruptions to their lives from the coronavirus. The announcement was made during a media briefing from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Here at home, the Olmsted County Public Health Department sent an email explaining: "The risk to the general public and Minnesotans remains low and there is no current evidence to suggest COVID-19 (coronavirus) is widely circulating in the U.S." The Department did explain that they are "actively working with the Minnesota Health Department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to ensure that travelers returning from impacted areas are being screened for infection during their return travel."

Graham Briggs, Director at Olmsted County Public Health, said, "We continue to work closely with our medical partners on plans to evaluate potential cases in our area while minimizing the risk to the public. This continues to be a rapidly evolving situation; guidelines and travel restrictions may change."

Experts remind everyone to follow the simple practices below to reduce the spread of contagious diseases:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. 
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your sleeve – not in your hands 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth 
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick 
  • Stay home from school, work and activities if you are ill 
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces 
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