ST. PAUL (LEARFIELD) – The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) today is reporting the first confirmed death of a Minnesota resident due to COVID-19.

According to the Department of Health, the death occurred Thursday (March 19) in Ramsey County as a resident in their 80s who recently had tested positive for the virus.

State Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm says the death underscores the importance of protecting our most vulnerable Minnesotans during the outbreak – including people over 65 and those with underlying health conditions.

Malcolm is reminding Minnesota to cover their coughs and sneezes and to wash their hands frequently – and to avoid touching our faces.

She also urges Minnesotans to stay home if they feel sick.

There are now 138 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Minnesota. Those cases are located in 26 different counties – including Anoka, Benton, Blue Earth, Carver, Chisago, Clay, Dakota, Filmore, Hennepin, Jackson, Martin, Mower, Nicollet, Olmstead, Ramsey, Renville, Rice, Scott, St. Louis, Stearns, Waseca, Washington and Wright.

MDH says roughly 4,100 Minnesotans have been tested for the virus so far.