MDH COVID-19 Briefing: Health Officials Discuss Trends in Case Data, Halloween, and Voter Safety


Malcolm said this week that Minnesota’s case growth rose to 10.2%, from 9.3% case growth the week before. The seven-day average positivity rate remains at 6.5%. However, there is a one week lag. Malcolm added that the increase in testing should lead to an increase in that number.

The commissioner took a brief moment to discuss how social gatherings have helped the virus spread in Minnesota. According to Malcolm, there have now been 71 epidemics associated with weddings, with 674 cases among those who attended the wedding.

She said sharing those numbers didn’t mean to shame anyone, but rather reaffirm that “the risk is real” and that social contexts “are helping drive this pandemic.”

The commissioner spoke again about the importance of people following the guidelines in place to curb the spread. Malcolm used an analogy used by Governor Tim Walz, calling the COVID-19 pandemic “a long, dark and cold winter.”

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“We would suggest that we say that these latest numbers show that we are in an intensifying winter storm,” she said. “And when we face a winter storm, we ask people to stay off the roads. Not only because their cars will be the ones that get stuck in the ditch, but because the fewer people there are on the roads, the easier it is for snow plow drivers and emergency work to keep them down. clear roads and ensure the safety of people. ”

Malcolm added, “We suggest we are in the same situation now with the COVID-19 building storm. We need everyone to do their part, not just for their own good, but for the good of their community and state. ”

Following the commissioner’s call, MDH’s infectious disease director Kris Ehresmann spoke about how Minnesotans can follow certain guidelines and offered suggestions for staying safe while celebrating Halloween and voting on election day.

“We know the holidays are important times for having fun and connecting with friends, family and neighbors, and we know people will be looking for ways to celebrate,” she said.

Ehresmann pointed out the Recommandations des Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to find out how to best celebrate Halloween. The CDC’s advice breaks down activities based on the risks they pose in the spread of COVID-19, rather than a list of dos and don’ts.

Ehresmann broke down a number of activities and their risks, including:

  • Low Risk: Pumpkin Carving, Home Decorating, Virtual Costume Contest, Virtual / Home Movie Night, Home Treasure Hunt.
  • Medium risk: one-way deception so people can grab them without breaking social distancing; costume party outside, with social distancing and wearing of masks.
  • High risk: traditional sleight of hand, same trunk or treat activity, haunted house inside, costume party inside.

Regarding the vote, Ehresmann said election officials have worked to ensure polling stations are safe for in-person voting.

For those planning to go to the polls on election day, Ehresmann suggested visiting polling stations during off-peak hours.

As with visiting other public places, Ehresmann urged residents of Minnesota to remember to wear a mask, practice social distancing and good hand hygiene at polling stations.

You will find more information on secure voting on election day here.

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