Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) - Olmsted County is ready for the Chinese coronavirus. That was the message local health and government leaders are trying to spread.

Two news conferences were held in Rochester Thursday to update the public on local efforts to deal with the outbreak. One involved Rochester and Rochester Public Schools officials. The other one included Mayo Clinic, Olmsted Medical Center and Olmsted County public health representatives.

Olmsted County Director of Public Health Services Graham Briggs was at that news conference and said steps have been taken to ensure there is effective communication and coordination. Briggs says along with taking the lead on activities related to COVID-19 information dissemination, the county is leading the efforts through a newly-established Joint Information Center:

Briggs says samples of possible cases in the state are being tested by the Minnesota Health Dept. He says as of Thursday, no samples had been taken in Olmsted County. Briggs passed on the same advice given during the annual influenza season - wash your hands, cover your cough and stay home if you’re sick.

As of 2:00 PM Thursday, there were no confirmed COVID-19 cases in Minnesota out of the 32 that had been submitted to the state Health Dept.

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