MDH COVID-19 briefing: 1st Minnesotan dies from COVID-19 infection likely contracted at Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

Minnesota Department of Health officials addressed an array of topics during Wednesday’s COVID-19 briefing, including an update on state and national coronavirus numbers and the first death from an infection likely contracted at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

Updated numbers:

MDH Commissioner Jan Malcolm gave an update on COVID-19 numbers around the world as well as in Minnesota.

Worldwide, cases passed 25.8 million with deaths just over 858,000. In the United States, cases have surpassed 6 million and deaths are over 184,000 as of Wednesday.

In Minnesota, there were 761 newly reported cases of COVID-19, bringing the state’s total to 77,085 since the pandemic began. Seven additional deaths were also reported, which brings the total in Minnesota to 1,830 deaths from COVID-19.

Malcolm also reported that there are 297 people currently hospitalized and 135 in intensive care.

The seven-day average positivity rate has jumped slightly to 5.2%. Malcolm said it had been hovering just below 5%.

COVID-19 in Minnesota: 7 new deaths, 46 hospitalizations reported

Sturgis death/infections update:

The first death related to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally has been reported in Minnesota.

A man in his 60s with underlying health conditions died of the virus after having attended the rally, according to MDH.

Along with the death, total infections related to Sturgis are now up to 50, according to MDH Director of Infectious Diseases Kris Ehresmann.

Ehresmann also noted that MDH is beginning to see evidence of secondary transmission related to Sturgis, meaning that those who attended are infecting people who did not attend the rally.

She urged those who attended as well as everyone to take White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx’s advice to wear masks, social distance and not attend large gatherings.

Minnesota man dies after attending Sturgis rally, testing positive for COVID-19

Below are other highlights from Wednesday’s call:

  • Ehresmann debunked an internet rumor stating that if a child tested positive for COVID-19 that Child Protective Services would take the child away from their home. She vehemently stated that this is untrue and urged people to carefully choose the sources in which they get their news.
  • Malcolm noted that saliva tests are coming soon, specifically those that will be used for educators. MDH has started to email codes to educators where they can request saliva tests. Around 250,000 saliva tests are expected to be made available for educators.