Governor Tim Walz
- Governor Walz said his thoughts and prayers were with President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump for a recovery from COVID-19.
- When asked what he would’ve done differently to respond to the pandemic in March, the governor responded that he would’ve required a mask mandate back at that time. He also said he wishes regional partnerships with neighboring states could’ve been stronger as well.
Director Kris Ehresmann, Minnesota Department of Health Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Prevention, and Control Division
- When asked about what a COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan would look like, Director Ehresmann responded that when a vaccine first becomes available, it will be in limited supply. The vaccine will be directed toward critical infrastructure personnel, high-risk individuals, and healthcare workers. Thereafter, vaccine distribution will be targeted toward individuals with the highest risk of complications from COVID-19, which includes people working in critical sector essential services. Director Ehresmann stated that the Minnesota Department of Health thinks student and teachers are priority groups given the importance of in-person learning. She said the state is looking to the federal government for guidance so state officials can make it practical for Minnesota.
- When asked when students will be able to go back to school full time without having to wear masks, Director Ehresmann responded that students have a lot of control in terms of when they can go back to school by adhering to mitigation strategies – masking, social distancing, and avoiding large crowds. She encouraged students to make the choices that help move the state in that direction.
Deputy Commissioner Heather Mueller, Department of Education
- When asked if students should be expecting to return to in-person learning this year, Deputy Commissioner Mueller responded that the state wants to make sure students and staff are safe, healthy, and well. While a vaccine is one option, she also said that Minnesotans need to drive down the community spread numbers – where the source of origin of transmission is unknown – and added that it is not going to be a normal school year for 2020-2021.
- When asked when students will be able to go back to school full time without having to wear masks, Deputy Commissioner Mueller responded that the state needs to see decreasing COVID-19 numbers and look at case counts over two incubation periods (one incubation period is 14 days). “I don’t know that this year we’ll come back without masks,” she said.
Minnesota Department of Health Briefing
This afternoon, the Minnesota Department of Health conducted a press briefing with reporters to update the public on the spread of COVID-19 in the state.
Director Kris Ehresmann, Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Prevention, and Control Division
- Director Ehresmann wished President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump a speedy and full recovery from COVID-19.
- She encouraged anyone who attended the rally on Wednesday in Duluth and has COVID-19 symptoms to get tested.
- Ehresmann also encouraged those who attended the event and do not have symptoms to get tested.
- Anyone who was a direct contact of the president or had exposures to known COVID-19 cases needs to quarantine for 14 days.
- An individual attending the event should get tested within five to seven days of the event. If the test is negative, the individual should seek another test 12 days after the event.
- Director Ehresmann reported 1,184 new cases of COVID-19. This brings the state’s total number of COVID-19 cases to 101,366.
- The median age for a COVID-19 case is 35-years-old.
- There were 10 additional deaths due to COVID-19. This brings the state’s total number of COVID-19 deaths to 2,059.
- To date, there have been 7,793 patients hospitalized due to COVID-19 with 2,156 of those in the ICU.
- There were 35 new admissions to the hospital.
- There were eight new admissions to the ICU.
- There were 32,077 COVID-19 tests reported to the state yesterday.
- Information on COVID-19 cases associated with schools can be found here.
Amos A. Briggs | Government Relations
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