UNDATED (LEARFIELD) – Cases of COVID-19 have shot up in Nobles County in southwest Minnesota and in Stearns County in central Minnesota – where about 1 in 20 people are confirmed to have the illness.

“At the present time I think the capacity in those areas is holding quite well,” said State Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm. “What we certainly don’t know yet is how much more this might grow.”

Malcolm stresses if I-C-U capacity is strained in one region, there’s a backup plan to find care for patients in other areas of the state.

She says the Health Department is assisting food-processing plants and communities to find cases quickly and quarantine anyone who’s been exposed to COVID-19.