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Nearly 50 seniors moved from Minnesota center after outbreak

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Nearly 50 residents were moved from a Minneapolis-area senior living facility this weekend after an outbreak of COVID-19 made many staff members too sick to care for them.
Officials from the Minnesota Department of Health said a majority of staff members and administrators at 50-bed Meridian Manor in Wayzata became sick and were unable to care for residents, the Star Tribune reported. Seven of the 47 residents were sent to hospitals, 13 were relocated with family or friends, and the remaining 27 were sent to other care facilities.
The decision to relocate the residents Saturday came in consultation with state and local officials, according to the Health Department.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.
In a statement, Meridian Manor said residents began testing positive for the coronavirus at the hospital on April 7. The findings prompted the facility to test all of its residents. As of Saturday, 18 of 55 had tested positive. The Minnesota Department of Health was still working with Meridian and local officials to verify numbers. On Friday, one resident died because of complications from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, the facility said. Another resident died Sunday morning, the facility said.
Meridian Manor said health officials directed the facility “to transition all residents not affected by COVID-19 to other providers while residents with COVID-19 continue to be treated in hospitals.”
Minnesota on Sunday reported 143 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 13 additional deaths. The new cases brought the state’s total number of confirmed cases to 2,356 since testing began in early March, according to the Health Department. Health officials said Sunday that a total of 134 people in Minnesota had died of the virus.
In southwestern Minnesota, 60 people had tested positive in Nobles County where many workers have been sickened at a meatpacking plant. That was 24 more than on Saturday. The state Health Department is investigating 69 potential cases in that county. The department has completed interviews with 32 people and found 26 employees of the JBS pork plant in Worthington, five family members and one person who works for a plant in Iowa. Staff from the Health Department and the Department of Labor and Industry plan to visit the JBS plant on Monday to observe health screening and social distancing practices.
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Check out more of the AP’s coronavirus coverage at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak