MN Government Updates 09.25

Minnesota Department of Health Briefing

This afternoon, officials with 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 reported 1,191 new COVID-19 cases. This is the second highest number of COVID-19 cases in Minnesota thus far. The total number of COVID-19 cases in Minnesota is now at 94,189.
  • The median age for a COVID-19 case is now 35-years-old.
  • There were six more deaths due to COVID-19. This brings the total number of Minnesota COVID-19 deaths to 1,994.
  • Currently, 340 patients are hospitalized with 120 in the ICU.
  • The seven-day COVID-19 test positivity rate is 4.8% – slightly higher than 4.6% a week prior. The state has been under the 5% positivity threshold for 13 days now.

Assistant Commissioner Dan Huff, Health Protection Bureau

  • Assistant Commissioner Huff reported that the CDC informed the Minnesota Department of Health earlier this week that federal agency decided to withdraw field staff who had been part of the CASPER (Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response) project in Minnesota. This was a voluntary statewide survey scheduled to take place between September 13 and September 30 to better understand the prevalence of COVID-19 in Minnesota.
  • The CDC determined that the reception in communities was getting too hostile as people of color on these survey teams were subject to racial slurs. Additionally, there was an incident in Houston County where a firearm was brandished by an individual to field staff.
  • Given uncertainty of this situation and impact on team members, CDC decided to demobilize the entire team.
  • Huff said this result is disappointing as the state had hoped to learn better how COVID-19 is spreading in the state and how it is affecting people. He said it would’ve improved multiple aspects of the state’s response to the pandemic. Additionally, Huff said he hopes that this episode gives Minnesotans a chance to take a pause and consider how people treat one another during this stressful moment.
  • “The enemy is the virus, not each other,” said Huff.

Amos A. Briggs | Government Relations
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