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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.

Confirmed Cases: 40767

Reported Deaths: 1533
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin13054790
Ramsey5127233
Dakota257094
Stearns248119
Anoka2360111
Nobles16766
Olmsted123518
Washington122840
Mower9742
Rice8738
Scott8234
Clay60138
Kandiyohi5871
Blue Earth5442
Wright5165
Carver4421
Todd4022
Sherburne3445
Lyon3322
Freeborn3090
Watonwan2450
Steele2431
Benton2353
St. Louis21816
Nicollet19112
Martin1725
Cottonwood1380
Goodhue1388
Winona13615
Le Sueur1191
Pine1110
Crow Wing11012
Chisago1051
Otter Tail1041
McLeod990
Dodge970
Carlton890
Polk863
Unassigned8638
Isanti800
Chippewa791
Waseca750
Douglas690
Itasca6912
Murray680
Pipestone674
Meeker621
Morrison621
Faribault610
Becker570
Jackson570
Sibley572
Pennington530
Beltrami430
Brown432
Renville372
Mille Lacs362
Wabasha350
Fillmore310
Rock310
Yellow Medicine310
Houston290
Swift291
Grant240
Norman210
Redwood210
Roseau210
Wilkin213
Cass192
Big Stone170
Koochiching171
Kanabec161
Wadena160
Aitkin150
Lincoln130
Marshall120
Pope120
Clearwater100
Mahnomen101
Stevens100
Hubbard80
Lake60
Traverse60
Lac qui Parle40
Red Lake40
Kittson20
Cook10
Lake of the Woods00

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 34080

Reported Deaths: 742
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk7196182
Woodbury331744
Black Hawk245759
Buena Vista173311
Johnson14058
Linn136683
Dallas136531
Marshall108019
Scott100210
Dubuque91822
Story8515
Pottawattamie80612
Wapello71431
Muscatine68544
Crawford6793
Sioux4970
Tama48229
Wright3971
Louisa36513
Plymouth3455
Webster3454
Jasper33717
Warren3111
Dickinson2953
Cerro Gordo2661
Washington2499
Hamilton1981
Boone1641
Clay1481
Clarke1433
Allamakee1384
Clinton1301
Shelby1200
Mahaska11917
Carroll1101
Poweshiek1108
Bremer1067
Pocahontas1061
Franklin1040
Des Moines1002
Emmet950
Cedar941
Henry933
Hardin890
Cherokee821
Taylor810
Monona780
Marion770
Floyd762
Benton741
Guthrie734
Jones690
Osceola660
Sac650
Butler642
Buchanan621
Jefferson620
Calhoun612
Iowa611
Humboldt591
Hancock581
Harrison580
Delaware561
Fayette560
Jackson560
Lee542
Madison532
Monroe517
Lyon500
Clayton483
Palo Alto480
Grundy470
Mills470
Winneshiek450
Mitchell440
Davis421
Kossuth410
Union380
Howard370
Lucas344
Winnebago330
Greene300
Chickasaw290
Cass270
Unassigned270
Ida230
Keokuk231
Worth220
Appanoose213
Van Buren210
Page200
Adair170
Audubon161
Ringgold151
Decatur130
Montgomery112
Wayne110
Fremont100
Adams80
Rochester
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