ROCHESTER, Minn. - Rochester is a hub for health and wellness that draws in people from around the globe.
With Mayo Clinic at the heart of the city the medical giant and community leaders are unveiling plans for if the deadly disease reaches our area.
With more than 80,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and around 3,000 people dead from the virus fear continues to spread.
Donna Hawthorne from La Crosse said, "I've gone out and bought two weeks of non-perishables and have medicine and stay away from people who are sneezing and coughing the best I can but yes, I'm worried."
Now health organizations around the world are preparing for the possible pandemic.
Infectious disease specialist Dr. Pritish Tosh explained, "There's certainly the potential and really we're on the verge of this occurring within next few months if things continue the way it's going."
Mayo Clinic says that includes staff wearing appropriate protective equipment with a specialty mask, a face shield, gown and gloves to prevent transmission.
Dr. Tosh said, "Normal healthcare workers are donning the appropriate personal protective equipment, as recommended by the CDC,
and that's been able to maintain safety of their patients and also prevent transmission to other patients."
If doctors were to treat a coronavirus patient in Rochester Mayo Clinic says they would be immediately quarantined.
"We would have the patient in their own room, they wouldn't be sharing a room and the providers going in would wearing the
personal protective equipment," he added.
The city of Rochester says for the past month its been working with community partners including Olmsted County Public Health Services to prepare for the coronavirus.
The city encourages residents to take three main steps. The first is to be informed. The second is to reduce your risk of getting or spreading the virus by taking precautionary measures as you would for the flu and finally if you have questions or concerns contact the appropriate agency.
Rochester also says it has a Continuity of Operations Plan that includes a pandemic annex.
Each department has a COOP team members who will update the plan, attend training and participate in exercises to prepare for the coronavirus.
ROCHESTER, Minn. - A month-long project to prepare for the Coronavirus by Olmsted County leaders revolves around three steps.
"The City of Rochester has a Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) that includes a Pandemic Annex. Each department has COOP team members who will update the plan, attend training, and participate in exercises to prepare for disruption," the city said.
In a press release issued Friday, Olmsted County, Rochester Public Schools, Olmsted Medical Center, Mayo Clinic and Rochester International Airport laid out steps to prepare for the Coronavirus.
"Rochester residents are encouraged to take three main steps. The first is to be informed. The latest information can be found from Olmsted County Public Health, Minnesota Department of Health, and the Center for Disease Prevention and Control. The second step is to reduce your risk of getting spreading COVID-19 virus. This includes taking precautionary measures like a person would for cold and the flu. Examples include staying home when you are sick, cover your cough and sneeze and practicing good hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Finally, if you have questions or concerns, please contact the appropriate agency," the city said.
Ken Jones, Director of Emergency Management, issued the following statement:
“The City of Rochester is working proactively with Olmsted County Public Health Services COVID-19 virus. We know that more
can be accomplished by working together in a coordinated way. As a City, we are taking steps to ensure our services continue to operate,” Jones said.