MDH: Mankato area young adult COVID-19 cluster linked to reopened bars

While the daily number of COVID-19 cases isn’t rising as quickly as some other states in the U.S. there are still some alarms sounding as Minnesota continues to reopen.

It’s been two weeks since the dial was turned back even more in Minnesota. The Governor allowed restaurants to open up for indoor dining as well as gyms and entertainment venues, but all in a limited capacity.

The Department of Health says those changes haven’t been without some impact.

“We’re seeing some increases in disease in south central Minnesota in young adults in their 20s and when we’ve interviewed these individuals we’re getting reports that a number of them had visited multiple bars,” said Kris Ehresmann.

The Department of Health says they have seen about 100 positive cases in the Mankato area of Blue Earth County, all of whom are people in their 20s, some who worked in child care and health care settings.

“Obviously the concern is these individuals don’t just interact with the same population they socialize with and so those other settings may result in additional secondary transmission,” Ehresmann said.

Dr. Tim Seilaff from Allina Health said Minnesota is at an important point in the pandemic as overall cases have leveled out, daily death totals and ICU hospitalizations are on the decline, but there’s been a slight uptick in hospitalizations, totaling 340 as of Wednesday.

“We have to be really attentive to what’s going on in our community and how we’re conducting ourselves and not forget the lessons we learned in March and April and May,” said Sielaff, the Chief Medical Officer at Allina.

He added Minnesotans should continue to do what works, including the use of masks and social distancing.

“It’s in our hands to prevent that second wave from coming and it’s all those good habits we had at that time that we got us to where we are and I think can prevent us from going to a bad place with a second wave,” Sielaff said.