Gov. Tim Walz, health officials say Minnesota is reaching tipping point ahead of Labor Day Weekend
Walz says case numbers are not going down because people are continuing to gather socially.
ST. PAUL, Minn. — The number of COVID-19 cases in Minnesota has remained largely consistent throughout most of the summer, but the department of health says the state should have been seeing a decrease during the warmer months.
“We have been walking along the edge of a high plateau for quite some time. Since early July when we started seeing cases rise again,” said Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm.
During a recent visit from White House Advisor Dr. Deborah Birx, the department of health was told the fact that those numbers have not decreased means Minnesota is showing signs it could be reaching a tipping point.
The positivity rate is 5.5%, which is still manageable, but is up from 4.3% on July 1st.
The uptick would seem to be the result of people continuing to gather socially.
“It appears from our recent data and from the reports we are getting of outbreaks at weddings, at parties, funerals and other types of social gatherings. These kinds of gatherings are proving to be as much or actually more of a challenge than the gatherings we do at more public spaces,” said Malcolm.
The amount of cases from community spread has risen from 27.8% in July to 33.5%.
To curb these increases and avoid reaching a tipping point, Governor Walz is urging people to avoid these group settings.
“It is not going to be any mandate,” said Walz. “It is not going to be anything we necessarily say. It is going to be behavior changes by Minnesotans to get a grip on this.”
Walz and health officials want to make it clear it is still a risk to be at social gatherings with extended family or close friends. Ahead of Labor Day weekend, they are urging people to avoid any unnecessary group outings in order to keep Minnesota safe.