ST. CLOUD -- St. Cloud Hospital has had just one confirmed COVID-19 patient so far. CentraCare Dr. George Morris says that person has already been discharged from the hospital and is recovering at home.

As for confirmed cases in our area, the Minnesota Department of Health says Stearns County is still at seven and Benton County has just the one.

Morris says they are testing patients at CentraCare, but due to the severe shortage of testing kits globally they can't test everyone.

We don't track it by city we track it by our facilities.  The CentraCare lab, which is based primarily in St. Cloud, but also has smaller lab collection sites throughout our region, we have run over 750 tests.

CentraCare CEO and President Dr. Ken Holmen says most lab tests can be done in-house, however, the COVID-19 test cannot.

We have ordered the equipment, it is unavailable, it has been repurposed by the federal government, and so we send all of our testing to an outside source.

Getting the results back on those tests can vary from 24 hours to up to a week, depending on the patient's priority level. Patients in a dialysis unit, in nursing homes, sick in-patients would all jump to the front of the line for testing results.

Holmen gives a profound 'thank you' to the residents of the area for continuing to social distance, he says it is making a difference.

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