North Dakota, Minnesota together could slow rapid COVID-19 spread, Walz tells Moorhead group | INFORUM

Local News 28-10-2020 IN FORUM 23

MOORHEAD — Saying COVID-19 is now “spreading exponentially” in Minnesota, Gov. Tim Walz offered that there is still a ‘window of hope’ to beat the virus back.

Walz met with COVID-19 survivors at the Hjemkomst Center in Moorhead on Wednesday, Oct. 28, to hear their stories and encourage communities to work together to abide health guidelines.

“Minnesota is at a really critical juncture," Walz said. "We know the border areas are kind of a difficult one. In fact, some of our early preliminary data from our new saliva lab is showing infection rates up here above 20%. Of course 5% is where you start to lose control, and 10% is uncontrolled community spread. Twenty and above is, you’re going to know someone who gets sick."

By coupling one of the most “robust” testing programs in North Dakota with Minnesota’s mitigation strategies, including contact tracing and mandating masks, community spread could be slowed, he said.

“This is not a North Dakota or a Minnesota problem. We are in this together,” Walz said.

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The Minnesota governor said the state plans to target 18 to 35 year olds, some of whom have jobs that they cannot do from home and are asymptomatic, for quick and easy access to testing.

“The only way we can control this is for the people to follow the guidelines, and I’m pushing for more testing for asymptomatic young people,” he said.

The 14-day per capita positive case count in Cass County showed 122.6 positives per 10,000 people, according to the North Dakota Department of Health.

Clay County was reported at 59 positive cases per 10,000 people as of Oct. 10, the most recent data available.

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