Health Officials are concerned that the protests and the police response to them are an obstacle to their efforts to track and contain the spread of COVID-19.
While health officials say it’s unclear whether mass gatherings, like the ones we are seeing in our state and across the country, will trigger new outbreaks of the virus. They say they do pose challenges when it comes to tracking down and alerting people who might have been exposed.
“We are planning for massive mobile testing in the cities for folks. I would tell those of you who are out there peacefully protesting, again, if you’re starting to get symptoms of COVID-19 please isolate,” said Governor Walz. “We will have to do some contact tracing which I have not wrapped my mind around what that we look like in this size, but we want to do massively test you, we want to get you in and get the help and want to get a handle on that.”
Contact tracing is a tool that health officials use to try to stop the spread of the coronavirus. When a new person tests positive health workers interview them, in order to find out who else they been in close contact with. Then they will reach out to those people in order to warn them of possible exposure.
State and tribal health officials say this contact tracing is key to stopping the virus from spreading further into our communities.
People who have symptoms of COVID-19 should get tested. Symptoms include cough, shortness of breath, Fever, Sore throat, Muscle pain, and sometimes loss of taste or smell. If you have those symptoms talk to your health care provider.
In general, people who do NOT have symptoms do not need to be tested for COVID-19. However, in some situations, like when there is a hotspot or outbreak occurring, health officials may ask people who don’t have symptoms, to get tested.
Stay safe everyone!
This MN Native News COVID-19 Daily Update is supported by the MN Dept. of Health.