Top U of M infectious disease doctor: 'We are in the very first innings of this game'

The top University of Minnesota infectious disease doctor Michael Osterholm talks to the media during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The University of Minnesota’s top infectious disease doctor said COVID-19 will “not rest” until 60-70 percent of the population is infected and develops immunity or until a vaccine is ready.

In a news conference with University of Minnesota officials and Gov. Tim Walz Wednesday, Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) Michael Osterholm discussed why he thinks the state’s new testing plan is crucial in combating the virus.

Osterholm said Minnesota’s plan will be a model for not just how to administer the COVID-19 tests, but how to use them.

He also explained to Minnesotans that there is still a long road ahead for the state in its fight against COVID-19.

“It’s going to be hard for Minnesotans to hear this, but it’s very important they understand, we are in the very first innings of this game. This is not going to get over with any time soon,” Osterholm said.

He said fewer than 5 percent of Minnesotans have been infected so far and that COVID-19 “will not rest until 60-70 percent of our population is infected and develops immunity, or we will have a vaccine.”

Therefore, Osterholm said, the testing plan is the best way for the state to move forward. 

“Everything we can do that you’ve heard about today is going to be critical to helping Minnesotans deal with this experience with this virus that is going to be with us for some time,” he said.

“Testing is critical,” Osterholm said, both in how it is done and how the results will be used statewide.