Local Hospitals Stay Prepared For Coronavirus Threat

DULUTH, Minn.– More than 83,000 cases of coronavirus have been reported worldwide. Now growing concern in the United States as the World Health Organization raises the virus’ threat level to “very high”.

Here in the Northland, hospitals are doing what they can to prepare for the disease if it reaches this area.

As of right now, there are no confirmed coronavirus cases in Minnesota and nobody is being held in quarantine here in Duluth.

Hospitals have had a plan in place for infectious diseases in the past such as H1N1 and Ebola.

If a case of coronavirus were to happen at Essentia, that plan would be put into action.

Essentia has airborne isolation rooms where patients can be kept from spreading the disease. No hospital has test kits on site so if someone is getting tested for coronavirus, it will be done along with state health officials.

Experts at Essentia say they are always making sure they are ready.

“We’re always in preparation, we’re still preparing,” said Rajesh Prabhu, an Infectious Disease Physician at Essentia Health. You can never be prepared enough but we have things in place that we will be able to take care of people in the community.”

Experts have a limited amount of knowledge of the disease. They tell us it’s hard to tell if someone has coronavirus or some other illness. Depending on a person’s condition symptoms can range from none at all or feeling generally sick to needing to see a doctor and even in some cases, death.

Some tips on staying healthy are staying up to date on immunizations, washing your hands, and staying home to rest if you are feeling sick.

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