CDC continues to monitor an outbreak of the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in China. There is much unknown about the transmissibility, severity, and other features associated with 2019-nCoV; therefore, recommendations may change as more information is obtained. There have been more than 9,500 cases (including over 200 deaths) in 20 countries with a novel coronavirus as the cause of the outbreak (including cases in the U.S.). Most frequently reported symptoms include fever, cough, and myalgia or fatigue at onset.

On January 30, 2020, CDC reported the first instance of person-to-person transmission of 2019-nCoV within the U.S. The U.S. Department of State has issued a Level 4: Do No Travel alert for China.
Travelers arriving in the U.S. from China, will continue to be screened for signs/symptoms compatible with 2019-nCoV at airports with CDC Quarantine Stations (including MSP). Travelers with symptoms will be referred for evaluation. Asymptomatic travelers receive a card with information about what to do if symptoms appear (if they develop fever, cough or difficulty breathing they should call ahead to a doctor or emergency room, and let them know that they have been in China).


No vaccine or specific treatment for 2019-nCoV infection is available; care is supportive. See Interim Clinical Guidance for Management of Patients with Confirmed 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Infection. The criteria for a 2019-nCoV PUI are subject to change. We recognize it is difficult to cover every contingency. If a patient has a specific high-risk exposure to someone known or suspected to have probable nCoV please contact MDH to discuss.

  1. Criteria to Guide Evaluation of PUI for 2019-nCoV
  • Fever AND signs/symptoms of lower respiratory illness (e.g., cough or shortness of breath) requiring hospitalization AND a history of travel from mainland China within 14 days of symptom onset.


  • Fever AND signs/symptoms of lower respiratory illness (e.g., cough or shortness of breath) AND a history of travel from Hubei Province, China within 14 days of symptom onset.


  • Fever OR signs/symptoms of lower respiratory illness (e.g., cough or shortness of breath) AND any person, including healthcare workers, who has had close contact with a laboratory-confirmed 2019-nCoV patient within 14 days of symptom onset
  1. PUIs should be reported immediately to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and your facility’s infection prevention personnel.
  • Interim Healthcare Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations
  1. PUIs for 2019-nCoV should be asked to wear a surgical mask and evaluated in an airborne infection isolation room (AIIR). If an AIIR is not available, the patient should be transferred to a facility with an AIIR (note: this is only for patients meeting PUI criteria,; for patients being evaluated but PUI criteria has not yet been determined, they can be evaluated in a private room with the door closed). Healthcare personnel should use standard precautions, contact precautions, airborne precautions, and eye protection (e.g., goggles or a face shield). More information can be found at the CDC’s Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Patients with Known or Patients Under Investigation for 2019 Novel Coronavirus
  2. PUIs do not require admission to a biocontainment unit. Unless clinically indicated, PUIs may not require hospital admission. However, signs and symptoms may worsen with progression in the second week of illness. All patients should be monitored closely. Recommendations for home care are available at the CDC’s Interim Guidance for Implementing Home Care of People Not Requiring Hospitalization for 2019 Novel Coronavirus

Additional Infection Control Practices Resources

See CDC’s Interim Healthcare Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Patients Under Investigation for 2019 Novel Coronavirus .

For More Information

More information is available at the CDC’s 2019 Novel Coronavirus website or by calling MDH.




The West Central Health Care Preparedness Coalition participated in the Healthcare Coalition Response Leadership Course in Anniston, Alabama during the week of August 6 – 8, 2019.  Along with representatives from two other coalitions from Florida and California, the course offered the opportunity to share coalition best practices and discuss the role of the health care coalition in a response to public health and medical emergencies.


This course has been offered over 50 times during the past two years, however, during this course the participants were honored to have a visit from Deputy Assistant Secretary to the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the Department of Health and Human Services, Dr. Kevin Yeskey.  Together with Dr. Richard Hunt, ASPR’s Senior Medical Advisor for the National Healthcare Preparedness program; Jack Herrmann, Acting Director of ASPR’s Health Care Preparedness Program, and Tony Russel, the Superintendent at the Center for Domestic Preparedness; Dr. Yeskey presented to WCMHPC a Letter of Commendation as well as a Certificate of Appreciation.  It was quite an honor for all attendees.

Representatives from the WCMHPC include:

Shelley Svec, Horizon Public Health

Bev Larson, Stevens Community Medical Center

Kristi Wentworth, Otter Tail Public Health

Patrick Waletzko, Otter Tail Emergency Management

Lynn Seigel, Traverse County Emergency Management

Nathan Roy, Morris Emergency Medical Services

Scott Johnson, North Memorial Emergency Medical Services

Karen Meyer, Perham Health

Shawn Stoen, WCMHPC Regional Coordinator





Health Care Facility Based Training Opportunities

Are you in need of respiratory protection training, decontamination training, or exercise development and facilitation at your facility?  If so, the coalition now offers emergency preparedness planning, training and exercise services for a very reasonable fee at your facility.  You don’t have to drive to us, we come to you!!  The grant from the Assistant Secretary of Preparedness and Response (ASPR) does not allow us to provide planning, training or exercise opportunities at a health care facility level, but we recognize the need to for this service and want you to know that it is available.  

Services Provided

  • Drill facilitation
  • Emergency communications consultation
  • Environmental safety and security risk assessments
  • Evacuation equipment training
  • Exercise facilitation
  • Exercise planning and coordination
  • First receiver decontamination training
  • Hazard and vulnerability development
  • Incident command system training
  • Physical security and environmental design assessments
  • Plan and documentation review and development
  • Pressure point control tactics and self-defense
  • Professional speaking on emergency preparedness topics
  • Psychological first aid
  • Respiratory protection – fit testing
  • Verbal de-escalation

Please feel free to reach out to your regional representative if you have any questions.

Rachel Mockros:    Rachel.mockros@centracare.com

Shawn Stoen:         shawn.stoen@centracare.com

Don Sheldrew:        Donald.sheldrew@centracare.com