200+ Minnesota COVID-19 cases reported after attending a Halloween event

Greeks use jack-o'-lanterns to decorate their shops' fronts. On October 27, 2020 in Athens, Greece. Halloween is not actually celebrated by the Greeks, but still shops, cafes and businesses change decorations to "honor" the colorful American custom. ((Photo by Maria Chourdari/NurPhoto via Getty Images))

More than 200 Minnesotans who tested positive for COVID-19 have reported going to a Halloween event, according to the Minnesota Department of Health.

Along with those 200 positive tests related to a Halloween party, gathering or event, officials say another 28 reported going to a trick-or-treat or trunk-or-treat event before testing positive, according to MDH.

State officials say it's nearly impossible to know how many of these people actually got their infection at the Halloween event, but affirm that attending large gatherings is risky amid the pandemic.

Leading up to Halloween, health officials pointed to CDC guidance that ranked Halloween activities in terms of risk. Attending Halloween parties and traditional trick-or-treating were listed as high risk.

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz is asking Minnesotans making Thanksgiving dinner plans to comply with new restrictions about social gatherings.

“It’ll be a hard Thanksgiving,” Walz told reporters Tuesday afternoon when asked about families gathering during the holidays. 

The state’s new guidelines introduced Tuesday put a limit on 10 people at social gatherings from a total of three households. Gov. Walz said the goal is compliance and not necessarily enforcement heading into the holidays.

“We’re not going into someone’s home and arresting them on Thanksgiving,” he said.

According to the governor, over 70% of coronavirus outbreaks in Minnesota from June to November have a direct link back to weddings, private social gatherings, and late nights at bars and restaurants.

HOLIDAY PLANS VS RISKS: Map shows real-time COVID-19 risk for gatherings, by county