Dear MNFEA Members and MNFEA 2020 Conference Attendees,
Ahead of this week's conference, several attendees have inquired as to whether the 2020 Conference will proceed, and after much discussion, we will be proceeding as planned.
As of today, there are two confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Minnesota, both in the metro area. Currently, the MDH is not issuing a recommendation at this time to cancel community events such as concerts, parties, or church gatherings.
The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) advises everyone to take the same precautions recommended for avoiding colds and flu:
What is COVID-19?
According to the MDH, coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are estimated to cause about a third of all cases of the common cold. COVID-19 is a strand of the coronavirus causing respiratory illnesses that have not been found in people before. Because COVID-19 is so new, there is much unknown about the virus, and currently no vaccination to prevent or cure it.
The minute-by-minute updates can raise awareness, but can also cause anxiety and fear- not just about the virus, but about who may have it and is spreading the disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the most vulnerable populations are the elderly and those with underlying health conditions.
What we know about COVID-19 in Minnesota
As I mentioned earlier, there are two confirmed cases of the COVID-19 in Minnesota. According to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), both cases are travel-related. The first case was confirmed to have, “no community exposure concerns” meaning the person self-quarantined to prevent any spread of the virus. They were reported to be “stable, at home, and doing well.” The second case is still under investigation for any potential spread.
What is MNFEA advising?
We are asking attendees, panelists and others that have registered for the Conference to stay home if you feel even the most minor imbalance in your health. Regardless of any potential exposure to COVID-19, the best way not to spread any illnesses including the flu and cold, is to stay home, cover your coughs, and wash your hands.
The Holiday Inn will be keeping the hotel and conference surfaces clean. COVID-19 can survive on surfaces for up to 9 days, so it is extremely important to disinfect all surfaces often.
We have hand sanitizer available and you’re welcome to bring your own.
Please continue to take care of yourselves and each other. Thanks again for registering for Conference and we’ll see you later this week.
Steve Madson, MNFEA President