State officials are telling Minnesotans to expect another surge in COVID cases, hospitalizations and I-C-U bed use in coming weeks, as some other states have already seen. Epidemiologist Kris Ehresmann says the state Health Department has started to see an increase in COVID cases related to bars and other establishments. “We saw it in Mankato. We saw it in the Twin Cities. We’ll see it next in Saint Cloud and then in Duluth and then in Bemidji, and the pattern completely followed,” she says. Ehresmann adds it’s “extremely likely” that COVID hospitalizations and I-C-U cases will increase in the coming weeks.
And does that mean “turning back the dial” on restaurants, bars and other public venues? State Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm says the goal certainly is “to avoid just kind of wholesale closure of those activities or prohibition of those activities, but in all candor I don’t think anything can be considered completely off the table with what we’re seeing around the country.”