Friday, September 18News That Matters

Minnesota COVID-19 briefing: Updated numbers, community spread affecting long term care and the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally – KSTP

In Minnesota, there were 556 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the state’s total to 59,185 since the pandemic began. Four additional deaths were also reported, which brings the total in Minnesota to 1,640 deaths from COVID-19.

Around 910,000 Minnesotans have been tested, which is about 16% of the state’s population. 

Minnesota sees 4 new COVID-19 deaths, 556 new cases

Community transmission rise/Long-term care facilities:

MDH State Epidemiologist and Medical Director Dr. Ruth Lynfield discussed the increase that the state has been seeing in community transmission and its effect on long-term care. 

Lynfield said that the rising rate of community transmission is leading to adverse effects in long-term care. While the majority of cases in long-term care since the start of the pandemic have been among residents, since mid-June the majority have been in staff. These staff infections are then in turn leading to more resident cases, which are likely to be more severe, according to Lynfield. She said the state’s studies and research are showing increases in large gatherings where social distancing is not happening. 

Sturgis Motorcycle Rally: 

With the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally beginning in Sturgis, South Dakota, Malcolm said that Minnesota residents who plan to attend and come back to the state are urged to quarantine for 14 days upon their return.

With the increase in community transmission and the likelihood that there will be events in Sturgis that do not lend themselves to social distancing, it brings great concern, Malcolm said. During a historic pandemic, the event brings people from around the country to a small place, which she said is a large issue.

High-risk groups in particular should evaluate if it is worth it to attend the rally, Malcolm said. 

LIVE VIDEO: Bikers arrive in Sturgis, South Dakota ahead of motorcycle rally

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