Report: COVID-19 viral transmission 'intense' throughout Minnesota, testing recommended particularly after Thanksgiving

Saliva testing at a Minnesota site. Photo: KSTP-TV. Saliva testing at a Minnesota site.

Updated: December 02, 2020 11:27 AM
Created: December 02, 2020 11:15 AM

ABC News reports it has obtained this week's White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing report intended for United States governors.

The recommendation from the task force within the report, dated Nov. 29, is that anyone over the age of 65 or with significant health conditions "should not enter any indoor public spaces where anyone is unmasked," due to an "immediate" health risk. The task force recommends those over the age of 65 or with significant underlying conditions "should have (their) groceries and medications delivered."

The report goes on to state, "The COVID risk to all Americans is at a historic high. The national daily COVID incidence after Memorial Day, but before the summer surge, was fewer than 25,000 new cases/day and is now more than 180,000 new cases/day; COVID inpatients then were fewer than 30,000 but are now more than 90,000; fatalities have more than doubled. We are in a very dangerous place due to the current, extremely high COVID baseline and limited hospital capacity; a further post-Thanksgiving surge will compromise COVID patient care, as well as medical care overall."

In terms of a possible post-Thanksgiving surge, the report states that those under the age of 40 "need to assume (they) became infected during the Thanksgiving period if (they) gathered beyond (their) immediate household."

Addressing those individuals directly, the report states, "Most likely, you will not have symptoms; however, you are dangerous to others and you must isolate away from anyone at increased risk for severe disease and get tested immediately."

The report's recommendation is also for those over the age of 65, or who have underlying health conditions, and attended a gathering outside of their immediate household to get tested "immediately" if any symptoms develop, "as the majority of therapeutics work best early in infection."

View the full report obtained by ABC News, which includes a methods section for the data, below.

In addition to the guidance recommended for all states, the report highlights the following within its section on Minnesota: 

  • "Minnesota is seeing a continued, dramatic rise in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. Limiting further increases in test positivity, hospitalizations, and deaths requires observance of intensified mitigation measures. Minnesota is in the red zone for cases, indicating 101 or more new cases per 100,000 population, with the 5th highest rate in the country. Minnesota is in the red zone for test positivity, indicating a rate at or above 10.1%, with the 22nd highest rate in the country."

  • "Viral transmission is intense throughout the state. The following three counties had the highest number of new cases over the last 3 weeks: 1. Hennepin County, 2. Anoka County, and 3. Ramsey County."

  • "99% of all counties in Minnesota have moderate or high levels of community transmission, with 84% having high levels of community transmission."

However, the report also indicates that the state saw a decrease in new cases and in test positivity last week compared to this week. Those data points still remain high, though, the report states.

The report also states that Minnesota hospitals are reporting PPE shortages but that "the state has resources and systems in place for facilities to request assistance."

View the Minnesota section of the full report obtained by ABC News below.

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