US/World

Few Minnesota Protesters Test Positive For Coronavirus, Early Test Results Reveal

Contrary to fears that COVID-19 cases will spike dramatically, it appears only a small number of people tested positive for the coronavirus strain. With mass gatherings in certain areas, there were concerns about seeing a possible spike in cases with most opting not to wear masks and social distancing during protests.

According to twincities.com, there were more than 3,300 people who participated in the protests tied to the untimely death of George Floyd. Most underwent COVID-19 testing over in St. Paul and Minneapolis this week. About 40 percent of the tests have already been returned. So far, only 1.4 percent have been found to have contracted the coronavirus. The results are encouraging but health officials are still awaiting the rest of the test results done.

It would be best to note that the 1.4 percent positivity rate is significantly lower than the 3.7 rate for more than 13,000 test results last Friday. It is also lower than the seven-day average of positive tests that also stood at 3.7 percent.

Despite the seemingly comforting return of results, Kris Ehresmann

, the state Department of Health director of infectious disease believe that may not be enough to determine how mass gatherings may affect COVID-19 numbers. It appears she expected the results to be low. She thinks that there is lacking evidence tied up to the rallies.

“Our testing is a bit pre-emptive if you will,” Ehresmann said. “It is a different situation.”

Aside from that, more people still need to undergo testing. With limited testing and availability the past days in the Twin Cities, it remains to be seen if the next batch of results will still show the same numbers. People who want to know more about undergoing tests can do so here.

There were 25 COVID-19 fatalities Friday with 479 confirmed to be infected by the virus. Those latest figures jack up the coronavirus total in the state to 1,274 deaths and 29,795 cases statewide. With regard to recoveries, 25,028 patients have gotten better and no longer need to be isolated. The 403 people are in hospitals with 191 in critical condition.

George Floyd protest Rally in Grand Army Plaza after the death of George Floyd. Rhododendrites/Wikimedia Commons

Of the deaths reported last Friday, 22 of them came from long-term care facilities and were aged 60 to 90. Most of the deaths reported from Minnesota come from nursing homes, assisted living and rehabilitation centers.

However, the numbers in Minnesota are improving ⁠—

particularly at long-term care facilities. The numbers of people infected there have gone down to one to two residents or staff while others have not reported any new cases for the past four weeks. So far, testing was made in 200 facilities with the help of the Minnesota National Guard.

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