The North Dakota Department of Health has confirmed the state’s first known case of coronavirus, Gov. Doug Burgum announced Wednesday night, March 11.

The Ward County man, who is in his 60s, has not been hospitalized and is currently self-isolating and recovering at home, according to the governor’s statement.

Prior to becoming ill, the man who tested positive had traveled out of state where he had contact with a person who has since tested positive for COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus. The public health investigation is ongoing.

The health department has tested 27 people for COVID-19, according to the state’s test tracking webpage. Twelve tests came back negative, and results for 14 tests are still pending.

Minnesota

Two more persons in Minnesota tested positive for coronavirus late Tuesday, according to Minnesota health officials in a daily coronavirus briefing with reporters Wednesday, bringing the statewide presumptive case count to five.

Both persons are believed to have contracted the virus out of the country and are recovering at home. At this point all five cases in the state were believed to have contracted the illness outside of the state.

The first of two cases reported on Wednesday is a person in their 50s who lives in Olmsted County, while the second case is a person in their 30s who lives in Ramsey County, according to Minnesota Department of Health Infectious Disease Division Director Kris Ehresmann.

South Dakota

Testing in South Dakota has uncovered three new confirmed cases of coronavirus, bringing the state's total up to eight, state officials said Wednesday, March 11.

Three men, including two in Minnehaha County and one in Bon Homme County, tested positive for COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, and are recovering at home, Gov. Kristi Noem said in a brief news conference.

Two of the infected people had traveled in the past week, while the third had not, said Kim Malsam-Rysdon, secretary of the South Dakota Department of Health.

Around the region

  • The University of Minnesota is suspending all in-person classes at all five campuses until at least April 1. In a Wednesday, March 11, statement, UMN President Joan Gabel announced that effective immediately, in-person courses are suspended out of health and safety precautions for the global COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by exposure to coronavirus. As of Wednesday afternoon, nearly 63,000 students are enrolled in UMN across all five campuses statewide.

  • Due to the coronavirus, the NCAA will hold its tournaments, including men's hockey and men's and women's basketball, without fans. Only essential staff and limited family members will be allowed.

  • Some blood banks across the Upper Midwest are facing shortages of donated blood crucial to area hospitals and clinics due to fears of the coronavirus. Blood donations are down at some facilities, and attendance at donation drives has slipped, say representatives of blood banks.

  • The Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society, with dozens of locations in the Upper Midwest, will restrict visitations at all its properties to only those who need entry, effective immediately, due to the coronavirus.

  • Minnesota House Democrats put forth proposals that would grant the governor the authority to declare a peacetime emergency in the event of a health emergency and allow workers to seek unemployment insurance or paid sick leave if they are quarantined due to the outbreak of a communicable disease or if their employer shuts down due to the outbreak.

  • The Mayo Clinic instituted new guidelines, calling for employees to restrict non-essential business travel to all locations (international and domestic), including travel between Mayo Clinic locations.

  • At least some insurance companies are announcing they will waive cost-sharing requirements such as copayments and deductibles for coronavirus testing so cost does not become a barrier to diagnosing the infectious disease.

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