U of M's top epidemiologist says Minnesota is 'not out of the woods' With COVID-19

Michael Osterholm Photo: KSTP. Michael Osterholm

Jay Kolls
Updated: June 17, 2020 09:42 AM
Created: June 16, 2020 07:58 PM

Dr. Michael Osterholm, head of the University of Minnesota's Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS Minnesota is "not out of the woods," with the COVID-19 pandemic.

"It is really hard for people to grasp as the weather warms up and state slowly reopens," said Osterholm. "But, the truth of the matter is we are not out of the woods, by any stretch, in fact, we are just at the edge of the woods."

Osterholm told KSTP, Minnesota, like so many other states, is working to figure out the right balance between reopening and still following social distance guidelines.

"It's really hard because we all know, and I have said all along, we cannot lock down forever," said Osterholm. "On the other hand, if people start to let down their guard and push ahead ignoring things, then we could be in for an up and down ride with new cases."

Osterholm said there had not been any signals, or information, supporting the idea that there could be a significant spike in COVID-19 cases after thousands of people were shoulder-to-shoulder for several days protesting the death of George Floyd.

"I think we are still seven to 10 days away before we can make a final verdict," said Osterholm. "But, I do not see anything that supports that this has been a significant problem in the protests themselves."

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