MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — As we continue to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak, we’re trying to help get answers for you. Here are some of WCCO viewers’ top questions.

Sarah asked us on Facebook: “What should you do if you have symptoms but have not traveled or been in contact with someone who you know has COVID-19?”

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“Well first of all you should contact your local health care provider or clinic of some kind to actually be assessed. In part based on the severity of your illness, they might recommend coming in immediately to be seen. If not, if it’s one that they are not sure whether you have this or not they may actually dealt you coming in,” Dr. Michael Osterholm, with the University of Minnesota, said.

Once again, the symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. The last one is the big difference from a typical cold or seasonal flu, the difficulty breathing.

Kristin from Bloomington had this on her mind: “Is COVID-19 the kind of virus that will morph and change, requiring further research and updated vaccinations year after year? Or is this a one-and-done pandemic?”

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“At this point all the evidence shows the coronavirus is a very stable virus in what it is doing and how it’s doing it, its genetic make-up. There are enough changes that are in a sense cosmetic that allow us to track it over time to see these little cosmetic changes, but not in its functionality,” Osterholm said.

Janice from Glenwood wants to know: “How concerned should we be about getting COVID-19 from packages or mail?”

“Recent research studies show that in the air it lasted for several hours, if it landed on a piece of cardboard it could last for a little longer. and stainless steel up to two days. But that is very different than saying that if I contacted that with my hand and then touched myself would I infect get infected? We believe that actually the hand to mouth, hand to eye, while it may play some role it is actually a very limited role,” Osterholm said.

WCCO also asked Osterholm if the number of COVID-19 cases is just starting to ramp up in Minnesota.

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“We clearly have activity here in Minnesota. Whether they are ramping up or not I think is to be determined,” Osterholm said. “I think people have been somewhat surprised in the rapid rise of case number, and I’d remind everyone that that may be an artifact of testing. But I have no doubt it could ramp up significantly and it could be a very, very bad situation here. I think that chances are very high. Our job is going to be making sure that we really understand that’s happening, and that we get people to take every effort to stop transmission.”