ST. PAUL — The Minnesota National Guard and State Patrol on Thursday, March 19, delivered thousands of surgical masks and other protective equipment around the state to help first responders and medical providers battling the coronavirus.

The Minnesota State Emergency Operations Center said the National Guard delivered personal protective equipment from Camp Ripley to Alexandria, Bemidji, Duluth, Dawson, Eagle Lake, Rochester, St. Cloud and St. Paul to be used by first responders. They also distributed 7,000 protective masks to the State Patrol.

Patrol officers then delivered the masks to the Minnesota Department of Health offices in Bemidji, Duluth, Fergus Falls, Mankato, Marshall, Rochester and St. Cloud to be used for inspection teams in nursing homes.

The deliveries came the same day the state announced 89 cases of COVID-19, the illness stemming from the coronavirus, had been reported. And officials said that number likely doesn't fully capture the number of Minnesotans with the disease. Health officials said additional tests are needed to get a more complete sense of how widespread COVID-19 is in Minnesota.

MDH COVID-19 hotline: (651) 201-3920.

Business impacts hotline: (651) 297-1304 or (800) 657-3504.

School and childcare hotline: (651) 297-1304 or (800) 657-3504.

MDH COVID-19 website: Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) website.

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