COVID outbreaks from large gatherings could impact Minnesota school reopenings - Minneapolis Star Tribune
Aug 01, 2020 1 min, 20 secs
Small-town surges in COVID-19 are often fueled by large group gatherings and events, with a campground concert causing one southwestern Minnesota county to have one of the highest per capita infection rates in the state.

State contact tracing identified 28 infections as likely occurring at a July 4th concert at the Stoney Point Recreation and Campground in the county — with many of those cases involving local residents.

“As we see cases associated with a particular event and then those case beget additional cases, it’s that ripple effect that gets you to the point where you’re seeing cases in the community that don’t have a direct link,” she said.

While cases linked to bars in particular have involved younger adults — who are less prone to severe COVID-19 illnesses — health officials have found that they spread to higher-risk individuals.

The ripple-effect concern is what prompted state health officials late Friday to disclose an infection involving an attendee at the North Star Stampede rodeo in Itasca County.

Minnesota reported 779 coronavirus infections and six COVID-19 deaths on Friday, bringing the state’s pandemic totals to 1,600 deaths and 54,463 infections.

The state also reported that 312 Minnesotans with COVID-19 were admitted to hospitals and that 151 of them needed intensive care.

Fairmont and surrounding Martin County had an early spike in cases this spring, but Lake of the Woods County in the far north didn’t have a case confirmed until last weekend.

Hennepin County has a similar case rate — though as the most populous county it has reported 17,317 cases in the pandemic.

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