Coronavirus: What You Should Know

We have been asked about the Coronavirus, and as a library we are here to provide trusted information.

What is Coronavirus?

According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC), Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

Trusted information sources

The CDC has set up a website - accessible in English, Spanish, and Somali - with updated information and resources. On this site you will find details on prevention, symptoms, testing, and ways to keep you and your family healthy. 

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is another reliable source to find resources, information for schools and child care, preventative actions, and a situation update on the state of Minnesota. There is also a web portal gathering all government information for Minnesotans.

People are urged to take advantage of Minnesota Department of Health hotlines, including the public line (651) 201-3920 and the line for questions specifically related to schools and/or childcare (651) 297-1304. 

From Stearns County: A local hotline number has been set up to answer questions related to the novel coronavirus, COVID - 19. Stearns and Benton Counties established a joint hotline staffed by Public Health professionals.That hotline number is 320-656-6625 or 1-877-782-5683 and is answered 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.


The CDC has recommended the following ways to help people protect themselves from respiratory illness:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Additional Resources

Coronavirus Disease in Minnesota portal

IRS Coronavirus Tax Relief and Economic Impact Payments information

MDH: COVID-19 Home Page

MDH: Prepare and Prevent COVID-19

MDH: Situation Update for COVID-19

CDC: COVID-19 Home Page


CDC: Using Telehealth to Expand Access to Essential Health Services during the COVID-19 Pandemic

CDC: Running Essential Errands

CDC: Testing for COVID-19

CDC: If You Have Pets