Minnesota News Connection

June 10, 2020

COVID-19: MN Health Officials Remain Cautious as Numbers Stabilize

Mike Moen

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Starting today, dine-in restaurants and other venues can reopen in Minnesota at limited capacity. However, the state warns there still are some key concerns, with the pandemic showing no signs of ending soon.

The latest phase of Minnesota’s reopening comes amid some positive signs within the state’s COVID-19 data, including a dip in intensive-care unit cases. However, state Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said people need to be mindful of consistent patterns with the virus.

“There is indeed a lag time between exposure and people developing symptoms,” he said. “Unfortunately, with COVID-19, we do see a number of people’s conditions getting worse with time instead of better.”

Health officials have said they’re also concerned that Minnesota’s death toll includes some otherwise healthy young adults. They said that’s why it’s important for people to remain vigilant as they enter businesses that have reopened. They reminded customers to keep practicing social distancing and wear a mask.

As for public school buildings reopening this fall, Infectious Disease Director Kris Ehresmann said they’re working on a guidance plan with the Education Department that includes number of scenarios. But she said they’re not ready to make an announcement, because it’s an evolving situation.

“With each month,” she said, “we have new information about how the virus behaves and how we understand it.”

Last week, the health department released more detailed data on the coronavirus spread at long-term care facilities, following subpoena threats from a key state lawmaker. That report showed that more than 600 people living in nursing homes have died of COVID-19 infections, more than 250 deaths in assisted-living facilities, and nearly 30 in memory-care facilities.

Minnesota COVID-19 information is online at health.state.mn.us.