At an October 13th briefing, Governor Tim Walz said the nation’s COVID focus has now turned to the Upper Midwest.
“I think it’s obvious to most people that the Upper Midwest is now a hotspot like we’ve seen in other parts of the country. The state of Minnesota is surrounded by the first, second and fourth highest transmission rates in the country. And once that starts to happen more of the bad outcomes, more of the hospitalizations, start to go up just by sheer numbers.” he said.
Wisconsin, North Dakota and South Dakota now lead other states in new cases per capita. Minnesota, meanwhile, has logged several straight days of COVID case numbers over 1,000. With that increase, comes an increase in deaths.
North Dakota, which doesn’t require residents to wear masks, noted the highest transmission rate in the country, with 770 cases per 100,000 residents, on October 13th. Because people can be contagious with COVID for several days before showing symptoms—and sometimes never even have symptoms—it’s easy to pass along the virus without knowing it.
Minnesota is attempting to get ahead of our state’s COVID increase by opening more testing clinics and testing opportunities to identify and cut off community spread. The governor stressed that our best defense is to knuckle down on the strategies we already know to work.
“Follow the science around masking, around social distancing, around staying home when you’re sick, around now getting tested and understanding that this is serious. It is real. To not do it is to guarantee that others will get it. So I’m just asking that we stay with that.” said the Governor.