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Rochester health officials respond to rising concerns about Coronavirus

ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 47) -- It's been more than a month since the outbreak of the Coronavirus first started in Wuhan, China.

As of February 26th, the CDC says there are at least 59 confirmed cases of Coronavirus in the United States- and globally impacting many countries, Italy and Iran being the latest.

While Minnesota has no cases, local health officials say they're prepared if the virus shows up here.

Olmsted County Director of Public Health Graham Briggs.

Olmsted County Director of Public Health Graham Briggs said the risk in Rochester is low. "While we are saying the risk is low right now, we do need to be thinking about what if and what would that look like."

Weekly meetings are held with the incident response team and state and federal officials in an effort to have plans in place.

"Really at this point we are pulling out plans and dusting them off taking a look at what we've got in there and making sure everything is up to date," Briggs stated. "Those plans really look at who's gonna do that 14 day monitoring and how do we coordinate that, how do we reach these people."

The prevention message remains similar to what it is for the flu. "Washing your hands routinely, covering your cough, staying home when you're sick," Briggs added.

With no cases in Rochester, Briggs said it's much more likely residents would get the flu, and there is no need to wear face masks. Still, his team remains vigilant.

"What we're doing in Public Health is watching the situation very closely talking to the state and to our federal partners and coordinating and preparing for what if scenarios," Briggs said.

Ubah Ali

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