The state’s first case of coronavirus (COVID-19) was confirmed on Wednesday from the North Dakota Department of Health. The person is a Ward County resident in his 60s.

“We have been planning and preparing for this since January, and our top priority remains the health, safety and well-being of all North Dakotans,” Gov. Doug Burgum said. “With the North Dakota Department of Health and its partners at the state, local and federal levels, we are working together to stay on top of this rapidly evolving situation.”

Prior to becoming ill, the man who tested positive for COVID-19 had traveled out of state where he had contact with a person who has since tested positive for the disease. The Ward County man has not been hospitalized and is currently self-isolating and recovering at home.

A confirmatory test will now be done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The NDDoH is working to identify people who have been in close contact with the affected individual.

“Symptoms of this illness are very similar to influenza, including fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Symptoms can appear within two days, and up to 14 days after coming in contact with a person who has the virus. It is very, very important that anyone with flu-like symptoms stay home. If you have symptoms and have been in contact with someone who has coronavirus, call your health care provider before going to the clinic,” said First District Health Unit Health Officer Dr. Casmiar Nwaigwe.

For questions related to the COVID-19 coronavirus, the public can call the NDDoH health hotline at 866-207-2880 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The public health investigation is ongoing.