Right now Minnesota sits in a bubble, surrounded by neighboring states, like Wisconsin and the Dakotas, with some of the highest number of COVID cases in the country. The health department says their problems could become ours, Marielle Mohs reports (1:53). WCCO 4 News at 6 – October 9, 2020
- Coronavirus cases continue to surge across Wisconsin. The state reported nearly 3,000 new cases, which is the second-highest daily total so far.
- Meanwhile, the number of Minnesotans needing to be hospitalized for COVID is also rising. Marielle Mohs explains how cases from outside of Minnesota are impacting care in our state.
MARIELLE MOHS: Amelia, right now Minnesota sits in a bubble surrounded by neighboring states with some of the highest COVID numbers in the country. The Health Department says, their problems could become ours.
KRIS EHRESMANN: We are seeing some use of Minnesota healthcare resources by residents from our neighbors, particularly in the border communities.
MARIELLE MOHS: State health leaders are worried about the spike in COVID cases that they're seeing in rural Minnesota. Health Director, Kris Ehresmann, said there are 12 counties outside the Twin Cities with higher positivity rates than Hennepin and Ramsey counties.
- From St. Paul to St. Cloud--
MARIELLE MOHS: Ehresmann added, they've been able to trace some positive cases to the President Trump Campaign Rally in Bemidji, two weeks ago.
KRIS EHRESMANN: Nine cases reported attending the rally. One case was known to be infectious. There were two hospitalizations.
GEORGE MORRIS: This is a hard time--
MARIELLE MOHS: Dr. George Morris is a physician at CentraCare, a hospital group serving people across Central Minnesota in counties like Stearns, Kandiyohi, and Redwood.
GEORGE MORRIS: We have the beds. We have the people. But as we get more of these exposures, what's going to happen to our availability? And that's something to be worried about--
MARIELLE MOHS: Dr. Morris says an increase in cases not only threatens hospital capacity, but also the health of their staff, who are starting to feel the effects of getting sick or taking care of their family members. So far though, it hasn't reached a crisis level.
GEORGE MORRIS: A concern would be, how long can we maintain this pace.
MARIELLE MOHS: MDH says, masking, social distancing, and avoiding crowds, still remain the three-key actions that need to be taken to slow the spread of the virus.
- All right, Elle. Thank you.