MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) State health officials announced Wednesday that the number of positive cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has climbed from 60 to 77.
The cases continue to cluster near the Twin Cities metro, as seen on a map posted by the Minnesota Department of Health.
Counties with cases include: Anoka, Benton, Blue Earth, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Martin, Nicollet, Olmsted, Ramsey, Renville, Scott, Stearns, Waseca, Washington and Wright.
Out of the 77 confirmed cases, at least three patients are currently being hospitalized and one is in critical condition. As of Wednesday, 2,762 Minnesotans have been tested for the illness.
Wednesday marks the start of statewide school closures. On Sunday, Gov. Tim Walz ordered all schools to temporarily close from March 18 through March 27 in the hopes of slowing the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
An additional executive order took effect Tuesday, temporarily closing the dine-in option at bars and restaurants across the state through at least March 27. Hair salons, nail salons and spas in the state are also to be closed until March 27.
For most people affected by COVID-19, symptoms are mild. However, the disease can be threatening to the elderly and people with sensitive lungs. Even so, the vast majority of people who get the virus recover.
According to the Minnesota Department of Health, those with COVID-19 symptoms should stay home and self-quarantine as the number of test kits in the state is limited.
Those at risk with symptoms are advised to contact their health care provider.