ST. PAUL (AP) - The state has closed adult daycare centers across Minnesota to prevent the coronavirus from spreading among thousands of seniors and disabled people they serve.

The Minnesota Department of Human Services in a letter to 220 licensed providers this week said the people who staff the centers are not considered critical care workers and need to stay at home.

The letter instructs the centers to close immediately.

The centers provide activities, meals and other services to nearly 11,000 seniors and disabled adults across the state.

DHS officials said some of the centers closed before the stay-at-home order went into effect, but that the agency issued the notice because it was learning some were still operating.

The centers must remain closed through the duration of the stay-at-home order, which ends on April 10.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. But for others, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause severe symptoms like pneumonia and lead to death.

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