Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Health officials tie northern Minn. COVID-19 surge to everyday gatherings


October 8, 2020

Itasca County Public Health workers Becky Tillma (left) hands a COVID-19 nasal swab sample to Julie Purdum (right) on Sept. 23 at a COVID-19 drive-thru testing event at the Itasca County Fairgrounds in Grand Rapids, Minn. Derek Montgomery for MPR News file

Northern Minnesota has hosted two presidential campaign rallies in the past few weeks, during which thousands of people crowded closely together, many of them not wearing masks.

Public health officials have worried those rallies could become COVID-19 super spreader events, and there's still potential that they might, as more testing and contact tracing is done.

But so far, public health officials in northern Minnesota say it's been much smaller get-togethers that seem to be behind the spike in coronavirus cases across the region. Over the past week, northern Minnesota - from the Wisconsin to the North Dakota borders - has averaged the most new cases, relative to its population, in the state.


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