In Minnesota, the COVID-19 pandemic has been a daily fact of life for six months. But the nature of epidemic continues to evolve.
Jan Malcolm, state health commissioner, says the Minnesota Department of Health is seeing an uptick in the number of Minnesotans getting COVID from community transmission of unknown origin.
“Meaning that people are out in the community, they’re doing multiple things, they don’t have a clear idea that they got it from any one given person,” said Malcolm.
Back on July 1st, the percent of cases coming from community spread was 27.8. Now it’s 33.5 percent.
“A lot of these cases are coming from just a variety of social gatherings: informal gatherings as well as public gatherings. There does seem to be a lot of private social activity that is fueling our numbers here,” said Malcolm.
Outbreaks have been traced to weddings, parties and funerals. Commissioner Malcolm says that it’s events like these that are fueling a good deal of recent community spread.
“These kinds of gatherings are proving to be as much or actually more of a challenge than some of the gatherings we do in more public spaces. The spaces we most commonly frequent—the grocery store, retail establishments, gas stations—those are not the places. In those settings people are pretty compliant with mask wearing and social distancing. But somehow in the more private gatherings, we seem to—many of us, too many of us—be of the mind that “Well, if it’s just our family we’re gathering with or just our friends, there’s somehow less risk in that in that situation.” And we just need Minnesotans to know that’s just not the case,” said Malcolm.