Health departments advocating protection during coronavirus outbreak

Northwood woman sharing her family's run-in with the illness aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship, and what she's doing to prevent the spread of it

Posted: Feb 28, 2020 1:14 AM
Updated: Mar 2, 2020 2:13 PM

NORTHWOOD, Iowa - With fear over the coronavirus growing around the time many families will embark on Spring Break, a North Iowa woman is advising people to use precaution.

Read more on the Coronavirus here.

Katie Burson and her family are stationed at a U.S. Army base in Japan, and were on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship, where 10 people were initially tested positive for the virus, forcing an immediate 2 week quarantine with all passengers required to stay in their rooms.

"It was an interesting moment. But we were like, 'this is out of our hands. We're going to do what they ask us to do. We don't have a choice.'"

At first, everyone was in reaction mode.

"There wasn't a meal served until about 1 p.m.. To have two little kids and no guidance on when they're going to eat is nerve wracking."

However, they made the best of their situation, by having extended play time for those 2 weeks, and getting outside on the balcony of their room for a bit of fresh air.

"Despite the virus spreading like wildfire, it was this beautiful moment in humanity as far as everybody writing thank you letters to the staff, and everybody smiling and pulling together and knowing what they're doing is good for the community."

Upon being cleared, having being tested negative, and arriving home, Burson and her family would remain under quarantine for another 2 weeks. This week, they crossed the halfway point. Even then, many have dropped off full meals and groceries and messages of encouragement for her family.

Back in the U.S., Katie's aunt Jennifer Lombard has been in contact with her niece and family through the quarantine period. Lombard herself does not have the virus.

"It's pretty scary to know that it was that close to home, even though they're living in Japan."

At her business, Lombard is making sure she and her employees don't contract it.

"You always worry about how many people have been exposed at one time. Have they been on an airplane that might have somebody who has coronavirus? It happens so quickly, and you don't know how many people are being exposed to it. We're taking precautions handling money and things like that. We've got the Germ-X, we have all the anti-bacterial stuff. As we're handling things, we're making sure we're as germ free as we can be."

So what can you do to protect yourself from the virus? Health officials strongly encourage to wash your hands with soap and water frequently, cover coughs and sneezes with your upper arm/elbow, and staying home when sick.

"If we can avoid it, we're going to."

So far, the Iowa Department of Public Health says no one has tested positive for the illness, and there has been no quarantine in Northwood.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 549830

Reported Deaths: 7067
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1145171675
Ramsey47380851
Dakota42007420
Anoka38065415
Washington24723273
Stearns20819218
St. Louis16620297
Scott15798117
Wright14643125
Olmsted1268297
Sherburne1046080
Carver970145
Clay777389
Rice7554101
Blue Earth690640
Kandiyohi623979
Crow Wing607986
Chisago543749
Otter Tail539373
Benton526097
Mower449532
Douglas438970
Goodhue438271
Winona437249
Nobles398748
Morrison391159
McLeod387854
Beltrami370557
Isanti370359
Itasca366052
Polk362467
Steele357714
Becker350248
Lyon346748
Carlton327052
Freeborn325029
Pine309221
Nicollet304142
Brown293139
Mille Lacs277350
Le Sueur268022
Todd267230
Cass247426
Meeker232737
Waseca229520
Martin211529
Wabasha19913
Roseau195518
Hubbard170541
Dodge17033
Renville169743
Redwood165435
Houston162114
Cottonwood155320
Fillmore15149
Pennington149519
Chippewa144636
Faribault142919
Wadena142721
Sibley134910
Aitkin127836
Kanabec127621
Watonwan12529
Rock121719
Jackson115910
Yellow Medicine110119
Pipestone109125
Murray10209
Pope10146
Swift98618
Marshall85317
Stevens80510
Lake78019
Clearwater76614
Wilkin76512
Koochiching76212
Lac qui Parle73422
Big Stone5594
Lincoln5572
Grant5438
Norman5209
Mahnomen4948
Unassigned48278
Kittson46222
Red Lake3857
Traverse3595
Lake of the Woods2993
Cook1440

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 356912

Reported Deaths: 5810
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk55819602
Linn20248329
Scott18949234
Black Hawk15517306
Woodbury14872220
Johnson1397781
Dubuque13115202
Dallas1087696
Pottawattamie10703162
Story1028547
Warren553586
Clinton536490
Cerro Gordo521186
Webster507991
Sioux505073
Marshall476874
Muscatine457896
Des Moines440665
Wapello4250120
Buena Vista421440
Jasper407670
Plymouth396779
Lee367755
Marion354375
Jones292955
Henry285937
Carroll279050
Bremer278960
Crawford262039
Boone257833
Benton249655
Washington249249
Dickinson240643
Mahaska224049
Jackson217842
Kossuth212362
Clay209825
Tama206571
Delaware202539
Winneshiek193933
Page190320
Buchanan188231
Cedar183423
Fayette182841
Wright180135
Hardin179242
Hamilton177949
Harrison175373
Clayton166655
Butler162434
Mills158020
Cherokee156738
Floyd155242
Lyon154341
Madison153519
Poweshiek152433
Allamakee149051
Iowa145324
Hancock143334
Winnebago135831
Grundy135032
Cass134354
Calhoun133111
Jefferson130535
Emmet128340
Shelby127337
Sac126819
Appanoose126647
Louisa126549
Mitchell125241
Union124032
Chickasaw122515
Humboldt118126
Guthrie117729
Franklin112521
Palo Alto110421
Howard102822
Montgomery100237
Unassigned10020
Clarke98023
Keokuk94430
Monroe93528
Ida89433
Adair84332
Pocahontas83321
Monona80930
Davis79924
Greene76410
Osceola75016
Lucas74922
Worth7078
Taylor65112
Fremont61210
Decatur5899
Van Buren55518
Ringgold53423
Wayne51923
Audubon4949
Adams3284
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