Coronavirus Daily Briefing: ‘Even if we feel like we’re done with the virus, the virus is still here’

During the state’s regular COVID-19 briefing Wednesday, officials with the Minnesota Department of Health urged Minnesotans continue to think about what they can do to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Even if we feel like we’re done with the virus, the virus is still here," State Epidemiologist and Medical Advisor Dr. Ruth Lynfield said.

Wednesday, the state reported 578 additional cases of COVID-19, bringing the state’s total to 43,742.

Lynfield said Minnesota is not in the worst shape, adding that, "we’re not in the best shape either."

She said that other states, and even some countries, are doing better when it comes to the spread of COVID-19.

"We need to be mindful that our choices don’t only affect us, they affect the health of our families and communities," Lynfield said.

As usual, Lynfield urged Minnesotans to continue to follow social distancing, hand hygiene and mask guidelines.

KSTP’s complete COVID-19 coverage

‘Make a Plan Minnesota’

MDH Infectious Diseases Director Kris Ehresmann took time during the briefing to introduce the "Make a Plan Minnesota" campaign.

The campaign is meant to help parents create a plan of how their children will be cared for if they fall sick.

"As we see cases rise again in Minnesota, we want to remind everyone it’s a good idea to develop plans for how you would deal with an emergency that might prevent you from caring for your young children," Ehresmann said.

Ehresmann said the information in the campaign can be used beyond the pandemic.

Information on the campaign can be found here.

Minnesota added to quarantine list

Ehresmann also discussed Minnesota being placed on the quarantine lists of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

The newly imposed rule requires visitors from Minnesota and Wisconsin to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

Ehresmann said the three states use data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID-19 tracker to evaluate which state’s should be included on the list.

According to Ehresmann, the CDC tracker cites dates that a COVID-19 case is reported, while MDH reports cases by specimen collection date. Because of this, she said the data reported by MDH will differ slightly than the date the three states are using to build the quarantine list.

"Our data will show the same number of cases, but associate them with slightly different dates," she said.

Ehresmann said upon hearing that Minnesota was on the list, MDH investigated to verify the accuracy of the information.

"The bottom line, of course, is that we are seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases and we must do our part to slow the spread if we want to avoid additional cases and their implications," she said.