MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Sixty people could soon be monitored for Ebola symptoms in Minnesota.
That’s double the number the state said it had been watching just last week.READ MORE: 'Perfect Timing To Go': MEA Marking One Of The Busiest Travel Weekends Of The Fall
The health department said Wednesday all of the people are travelers who’ve recently arrived from West Africa.
WCCO’s Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield said some travelers are actually glad to know they’re on that list.
According to the Minnesota Department of Health, they were thrilled.
Travelers weren’t sure if they needed to stay away from their families or kids.
Now they know, they don’t have to quarantine themselves, and that someone is checking on them daily.
These Brooklyn Park, Minn. friends have been raising their voices to raise money for their homeland.
Late this month Bebe Wright, who is now a Minnesota pastor, will carry the money in person home to Liberia.
“So we can be a gift to those that are in need, even people who lost those during the Ebola crisis,” Wright said.
She’s already gotten a series of shots, but knows when she gets back in early December, she’ll have work to do.READ MORE: A Ride-Along With Minneapolis Police Shows How Staffing Shortages Have Officers Stretched Thin
“I take my own temperature,” Wright said.
She will actually be held accountable to do that twice a day by the state Department of Health.
“We contact them to check on their status every single day. If they have any fever or any change in symptoms they have a 24-7 phone number that they can call, so they’re instructed to call us. And then we will follow up with them and work with them in that situation,” Kris Ehresmann of the Minnesota Department of Health said.
As part of CDC protocol, anyone entering checkpoint airports in the U.S. from Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea must be monitored daily for 21 days.
Right now, the Minnesotans on the monitoring list have not been in direct contact with infected people and didn’t have fevers upon arrival.
“Right now all 48 individuals that we’re monitoring fall into the low risk category,” Ehresmann said.
Wright will soon be on the list, part of a new welcome home process.
So, as long as she does not have direct contact with Ebola patients, she will also fall into the low-risk category.
However, any health care workers who travel may come back to stricter supervision.
The CDC checks people out at airports, then sends the state a list. The health department says it’s sometimes hard to track them down. They actually have a disease investigator to try to find the travelers in person. In fact, in addition to the 48 people being monitored now, the health department is working to contact 12 more travelers.MORE NEWS: 'Absolutely Gorgeous': 100-Year-Old Fire Tower Offers Tree-Top Views In Northern Minnesota
To find out more about Department of Health’s Ebola webpage. Their Ebola line: 651-201-3920 or 1-800-657-3903