In early May we covered the impact of the on-going COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on central Minnesota. At the time St. Cloud was being recognized as a hotspot nationwide in an article on the New York Times. St. Cloud has not become quite the national hotspot for COVID-19 cases it was thought to be and thankfully the tri-county area has seen a slower growth rate of cases than the rest of Minnesota on average.
What’s changed in the last two months?
Data from May 18th showed that in the tri-county area in central Minnesota there had been a total of 2,033 cases or about 12.41% of all cases in Minnesota (down from 14.25% the week of May 11th). The tri-county area represents Stearns, Benton, and Sherburne.
As of the morning of August 7th, there is now a total of 3882 cases in the tri-county area or about 6.62% of all cases in Minnesota.
What demographics are most often testing positive?
According to the data provided by the state of Minnesota, the core group reporting positive tests is 20 to 29-year-olds. Behind them 30 to 39-year-olds trail by a few thousand cases as the next largest group.
Due to the work of contact tracers, it becomes easier for areas of origin to be recognized so others who visited the same place can be aware of the threat and get tested themselves. This has been helpful in limiting the increased spread of the virus.
Adapting to the current situations
Area businesses have been required by the state to create plans to help improve the protection of their customers – this includes requiring everyone inside the business to wear a mask and limiting the number of individuals inside.
While the state sets minimum requirements on these rules, some businesses have put their own stricter rules into place. A number of businesses have opted to not re-open their indoor seating yet or reduced their hours.
What’s next for COVID-19?
Dr. Peter Attia recently published an article featuring his answers to questions he received from his young son. Among these was the simple question of “when will COVID-19 end?” While we have an idea of different outcomes that can occur from this, no one knows for sure how long we will see the impact of COVID-19 on our community and the world.