The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Douglas County ticked up to 18 as of Friday, May 15 – three more cases in the past week.

No deaths have been reported.

Cases in the six-county area have increased more steadily, growing from a combined total of 1,346 to 1,747 – a jump of 401 cases in one week.

Health officials emphasize that the number of cases is expected to increase as more people are tested.

Here’s the case count in the region as of May 15 compared to the previous week, according to information from the Minnesota Department of Health:

Stearns – 1,641 with nine deaths, up from 1,274 and four deaths.

Todd – 46, up from 29.

Otter Tail – 35, up from 21.

Douglas – 18, up from 15.

Pope – five, no change.

Grant – two, no change.

The health department stated it will not release specific locations for any patients being tested or other information such as ages or where they are being treated in order to protect patient privacy.

Statewide, 683 COVID-19 deaths have been reported, 20 more than Thursday’s total; 554 of them in long-term care or assisted living facilities.

A total of 134,669 COVID-19 tests have been completed in the state and 14,240 have tested positive.

A total of 1,985 cases required patients to be hospitalized. As of May 15, 200 remain in intensive care units.

As testing capacity increases, state health officials are encouraging anyone with COVID-19 symptoms to seek testing.

Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 hotline: 651-201-3920.

COVID-19 discrimination hotline: 833-454-0148

Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 website: Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) website.

Everyone can work to reduce the spread of COVID-19

Health officials offer the following advice:

  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with your elbow or sleeve, or a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands afterwards.

  • Washing your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom or before eating. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

  • Avoid touching your face – especially your eyes, nose and mouth – with unwashed hands.

  • Stay home if you have cold- or flu-like symptoms, for 10 days after your illness onset and three days after your fever resolves without fever reducing medicine (whichever is longer), and avoid close contact with people who are sick.

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