Minnesota health officials say they are seeing a disturbing jump in four border states.
ST PAUL, Minnesota – Senior health officials in Minnesota filed an alarm Thursday over the rise in total cases of COVID-19 in the border states of Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota and Iowa, all of which rank in the top 10 for an increase in cases per capita. population over the last seven days.
“We are nervously watching what is happening in our neighboring states,” said Minnesota Deputy Health Commissioner Dan Huff. “These states are reminiscent of how fast we can go from walking on the edge of a cliff to rolling over it.”
Although net case growth, even calculated per capita, may not always account for variations in test volume, this indicates that the virus has recently been severely affected by the virus. According to a state-by-country tracking developed by New York Times, The Dakota led the country in a 100,000 rise in the past week, followed by Missouri, Wisconsin, Arkansas and Iowa.
In Wisconsin, health officials again called on the public to comply with the mandate, noting that the total number of cases per day on Thursday was the highest with a “wide margin” and that almost every county had a problem with the virus.
“This is the worst thing that has ever happened in Wisconsin in terms of the number of new cases,” said state infectious disease epidemiologist Dr. Ryan Westergaard. “The level of transmission that seems to be happening in the community really creates a risk if we see this spread among populations that are more vulnerable.”
The return of students to college has led to much of the increase in cases in neighboring Minnesota.
In Fargo, North Dakota State University reported 148 cases in the last two weeks involving students and faculty. This week, the governor said surveillance tests were being conducted to track asymptomatic students in order to limit the spread from younger students to older populations in long-term care settings.
At the University of Wisconsin, both the La Crosse and Madison campuses have also seen jumps in COVID-19. At Madison’s top spot, on Thursday alone, the school reported 127 new positive tests among students and faculty, up 8.3 percent in the past seven days (figures are on-campus tests).
Madison’s campus also announced its first hospitalization of a student on Wednesday.
“The UW system and many other colleges have taken a lot of precautions when conducting tests to prepare for testing,” said Dr. Ryan Westergaard, “but unfortunately that hasn’t prevented some pretty significant outbreaks.”