Southern Minnesota bar patrons fueled COVID-19’s recent hot spot

A reported group of COVID-19 developed in southern Minnesota, and among about 100 who tested positive for the disease, many in their 20s said they had visited several bars on June 12-13, state health officials said Wednesday. of June.

The reports come when the Minnesota Department of Health reported Wednesday that five more Minnesota residents had died from COVID-19, and 304 had tested positive for the disease. Totals bring the number of Minnesotans who have died from COVID-19 to 1,397 and the number of people with the disease to 33,763.

As Minnesotans continue to visit recently reopened restaurants and bars, state health officials urged them to continue to practice health and safety measures to limit the spread of the disease. Restaurant and bar owners are not required to report illnesses to their staff or customers.

“We are seeing some increases in the disease in south-central Minnesota in young adults in their 20s,” said Minnesota director of infectious diseases Kris Ehresmann. “We want to make sure that, even when we are happily taking advantage of the opening of bars and restaurants that people, even if you are young and even if you feel that your personal risk is low, you continue to socialize distance and wear masks if possible.”

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Ehresmann said young people may not be as concerned about the risk of serious complications from COVID-19, but they should be aware that they can contract the disease as easily as anyone else and potentially pass it on to others. And those people who are older or who have underlying health conditions may face more serious complications from COVID-19.

“I think we are all eager to get out and just have to make sure we are doing it in a thoughtful and cautious way,” said Ehresmann.

State health officials also reported a disparity in the number of people who tested positive for COVID-19 after participating in protests after George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police on Wednesday. Minnesotans of color appeared to be disproportionately affected by the disease, Ehresmann said.

Of the protesters who participated in the Twin Cities metropolitan area, 0.2% of white protesters tested positive for the disease, compared to 1.3% of black people who contracted the disease, 5% of Asian American protesters who reported positive to COVID-19 and 7.4% of Latino people evaluated that they had the disease. Ehresmann said that other factors, such as working conditions, could fuel the higher positivity rate for COVID-19 in some groups compared to others.

“We are working to account for these disparities and concerns in our testing strategies and our overall response,” said Ehresmann.

Amazon employees ask for help

Several workers at the Amazon distribution center in Shakopee said Wednesday that they had become ill with COVID-19 on the job and called on the state to temporarily close the center to clean up and establish more safety protocols for workers. Dozens of cases have been reported among workers there in recent weeks, and sick workers said they inadvertently transmitted the virus to family members.

“They are not focusing on our safety, they are just saying it. They are only focused on how they are making us feel more fearful and how they are not taking it seriously,” said Hibaq Mohamed, a warehouse associate at the facility. , he told reporters.

Ehresmann said the state has worked with the facility to establish more security protocols and recommend detection and social distancing measures.

There were 340 people hospitalized due to COVID-19 on Wednesday with 160 in intensive care. Since the Minnesota pandemic occurred, 29,707 have tested positive for the disease and been able to escape isolation.

The five who died from the disease were between the ages of 50 and 99, and three lived in private residences, while two lived in long-term care facilities. The individuals resided in Hennepin, Ramsey and Washington counties.

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