MN health officials tie nearly two dozen COVID cases to presidential campaign events – Press

Minnesota health officials have identified nearly two dozen coronavirus infections tied to presidential campaign events held in the last month.

The majority of the infections are related to events President Donald Trump held in Bemidji and Duluth in late September. A dozen COVID-19 cases, including one hospitalization, were tied to the Bemidji rally and three more to the visit to Duluth.

Another three infections are related to a visit by Vice President Mike Pence to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, including a person who also attended the Trump rally in Duluth.

Another four COVID-19 cases are tied to protests held during the president’s campaign events.

There is one coronavirus infection tied to an event held by Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

Democratic Gov. Tim Walz wrote to both presidential campaigns Sept. 15 urging them to abide by Minnesota’s guidelines in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus. These include mask mandates, social distancing and prohibitions on large-group gatherings.

Trump campaign events have essentially ignored those rules and, so far, not faced any consequences from state health officials. The president’s most recent visit to Minnesota came less than two days before he announced he had tested positive for the coronavirus.

Because people are often infectious days before showing symptoms, state health officials surmise the president was likely contagious when he rallied with supporters in Duluth Sept. 30.

Minnesota has identified 113,439 coronavirus cases with laboratory tests. There are 2,144 who have died from COVID-19.

About 38 percent of the state’s new cases are caused by community transmission — when someone is infected without an obvious link to another infected person. Health officials say the best way to slow the spread of the coronavirus is to follow health department guidelines requiring masks, social distancing and avoiding large groups.

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MN health officials tie nearly two dozen COVID cases to presidential campaign events – Press

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