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MN Health Dept., St. Louis Co. issue guidance to attendees of President Trump’s Duluth rally

DULUTH, MN -- Minnesota and St. Louis County health experts say those who attended President Donald Trump's Duluth rally, held one day before news of his positive COVID-19 result, should get tested right away.

"There is a potential risk that transmission occurred at the Duluth rally and other events associated with President Trump’s visit. Community transmission of COVID-19 was high in St. Louis County prior to this week’s rally, and people attending the rally may have been infectious without realizing it," state health officials wrote.

The Minnesota Health Department is advising attendees to get tested right away, regardless of if they have symptoms of not.

"Anyone who attended any large group gathering, especially one with limited social distancing and/or masking, should be alert to potential symptoms of COVID-19 infection, and limit social interactions for 14 days. This is true even if they feel no symptoms of illness," state health officials wrote.

According to a news release from St. Louis County, guidance from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that the highest risk of exposure for a person is if they are within close contact (six feet or less) for 15 minutes or more with someone who is contagious.

"Based on the 'six feet for 15 minutes' assessment, the likelihood of someone in the audience catching the virus from someone on stage is fairly minimal," said Amy Westbrook, St. Louis County Public Health Division Director.

"However, with an estimated attendance of at least 3,000 people at the rally, there's a pretty good likelihood that some of the attendees had the virus and were contagious, so as we would with any event, we strongly encourage participants to quarantine, monitor themselves for symptoms and consider getting tested," she added.

State health leaders say anyone who attended any large group gathering, especially one with limited social distancing and/or masking, should be alert to potential symptoms of COVID-19 infection, and limit social interactions for 14 days. This is true even if they feel no symptoms of illness.

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Kaitlyn Moffett

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