MDH advises those who attended Trump events in state to get tested, monitor symptoms

Friday, the Minnesota Department of Health issued a statement in response to President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump testing positive for COVID-19.

Trump visited Minnesota on Wednesday.

In its statement, MDH included guidelines for those who attended any campaign events this week.

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Here is the statement in full:

Our thoughts are with President Trump, the First Lady and others as they deal with COVID-19 infections. We wish them a speedy and full recovery.

The public health response to this development is the same as it would be for any other situation involving positive cases and close contacts. While we work with other public health departments collaboratively, our department does not get involved in the contact tracing for President Trump and his staff, or for others who are not Minnesota residents. Our focus is on contact tracing and case investigations for Minnesota residents.

There is a potential risk that transmission occurred at the Duluth rally and other events associated with President Trump’s visit.

Community transmission of COVID-19 was high in St. Louis County prior to this week’s rally, and people attending the rally may have been infectious without realizing it.

We know many who attended events may have questions about what to do next. Our guidance is as follows:

  • Anyone who attended events associated with the President’s visit and who now has symptoms should get tested right away. People should consider getting tested even if they do not have symptoms because some people may not develop or recognize symptoms and people can spread the virus even without displaying symptoms. People should get tested five to seven days after the event. If they test negative, they should get tested again around 12 days after the event. People should get tested in their home communities and seek testing from their health care provider when possible.
  • Anyone who was a direct contact of President Trump or known COVID-19 cases needs to quarantine and should get tested. It is important to understand that quarantine for 14 days is necessary regardless of test results.
  • Anyone who attended any large group gathering, especially one with limited social distancing and/or masking, should be alert to potential symptoms of COVID-19 infection, and limit social interactions for 14 days. This is true even if they feel no symptoms of illness.

There are a number of locations around the state to get a COVID-19 test. Any Minnesotan wishing to be tested in the Duluth area can get a test at the testing site set up at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (DECC). There will also be seven community testing sites around the state next week on October 6-8, including in Cloquet and Inver Grove Heights.

See more information on the Minnesota Department of Health website at COVID-19 Community Testing.

During an MDH briefing on Friday, Infectious Disease Director Kris Ehresmann said their thoughts are with the president and first lady as they quarantine. Ehresmann mentioned that community transmission was high prior to the rally being held in St. Louis County, so it is important for those who attended to pay attention if they exhibit any symptoms in the following days. She recommends getting a test if you attended the event, whether you are experiencing symptoms or not, as it is still infectious in asymptomatic instances.

Ehresmann says people should get tested about 5 to 7 days after the event, and if they test negative, get tested again once it has been 12 days since the rally. She asks those to please get tested in their home community and by their home care provider if possible.

Regarding Eric Trump visiting Becker on Thursday, Ehresmann recommends the same protocol for anyone who attended that event as well.