MDH COVID-19 briefing: Outbreaks linked to social gatherings, more on survey teams' confrontations

MDH COVID-19 briefing: Outbreaks linked to social gatherings, more on survey teams' confrontations Photo: KSTP.

Updated: September 28, 2020 03:06 PM
Created: September 28, 2020 01:04 PM

Monday, Minnesota health officials provided the latest update on the state's COVID-19 situation.

Minnesota Department of Health Assistant Commissioner Dan Huff and Director of Infectious Disease and Epidemiology Kris Ehresmann talked more about outbreaks related to social gatherings and situations with COVID-19 survey teams.


Ehresmann said the state has had several confirmed outbreaks related to social gatherings, including: 37 outbreaks linked to weddings, 11 associated with funerals, 22 with gyms and 62 outbreaks related to other social events in the state. Ehresmann also said an infectious person attended a large wedding and 11 other confirmed cases have now been linked to that wedding, with two of the patients hospitalized.

Ehresmann and Huff also talked more about the CASPER survey teams who were pulled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention after teams encountered confrontations and alleged racial slurs. The mayor of Eitzen disputed those allegations over the weekend, saying nobody was armed and there were no racial slurs used.

Monday, Huff said MDH reported what it was told by its survey teams, saying they had no reason to doubt their reports. However, he noted there were numerous incidents across various communities that led to the teams being pulled for their safety.

KSTP's complete COVID-19 coverage

When asked if MDH gave communities notice that survey teams were coming to their area, Huff said the department sent out notices through the media and other notices but didn't specifically reach out to each community to say when or where exactly a survey team would be.

Some other notes from Monday's call include:

Minnesota's seven-day average testing positivity rate is at 5.4%, up from 4.4% last week.

Huff and Ehresmann said MDH sent President Donald Trump's and Joe Biden's campaigns a letter urging them to follow state COVID guidelines but didn't say they'd enforce those rules.

Ehresmann said COVID-19 data for public school districts as well as colleges and universities in the state should be posted online later this week. MDH is working with schools to get as much direct information as possible.

MDH: 7 new COVID-19 deaths reported, state surpasses 2 million tests

You can watch a portion of Monday's call below.

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