Updated: August 21, 2020 03:28 PM
Created: August 21, 2020 03:07 PM
Minnesota Department of Health officials addressed an array of topics during Friday's COVID-19 briefing, including an update on state and national coronavirus numbers, increasing infections related to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and concerns over outbreaks at colleges.
MDH Director of Infectious Diseases Kris Ehresmann gave an update on COVID-19 numbers around the world as well as in Minnesota.
Worldwide, cases passed 22.7 million with deaths just over 794,000. In the United States, cases have surpassed 5.5 million and deaths stand just over 174,000, as of Friday.
In Minnesota, there were 835 new cases of COVID-19 reported Friday, bringing the state's total to 68,133 since the pandemic began. Eight additional deaths were also reported, which brings the total in Minnesota to 1,753 deaths from COVID-19.
Ehresmann also reported that there are 296 people currently hospitalized and 136 in intensive care.
Sturgis Motorcycle Rally infections:
MDH has confirmed that 15 people now have confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Minnesota linked to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota. One of the individuals that contracted the virus has been hospitalized.
With the new cases, Ehresmann once again urged those who attended the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally to self-isolate for 14 days to avoid potentially infecting others. Anyone that feels ill is urged to also get tested.
More infections are expected to be reported linked to the rally in upcoming days, according to Ehresmann.
Concern over outbreak at St. Olaf:
The potential outbreak at St. Olaf College following an off-campus party where MDH guidelines were not followed has MDH leaders concerned. Ehresmann said that MDH has been in contact with St. Olaf and that no other known instances at other colleges in the state are known at this time.
Ehresmann added that she hopes that students and administrations around the state learn from St. Olaf and make better decisions going forward. She added that the age range that this event occurred with is the age range that has been most affected by the virus recently around the state. MDH also noted other colleges around the country are dealing with outbreaks and hopes people also learn from those situations.
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