The Minnesota Department of Health on Friday urged anyone who attended any of President Donald Trump’s Wednesday events in Minnesota and has symptoms of the coronavirus “should get tested right away.”
Trump, who tested positive for the coronavirus, held a series of events in the state Wednesday, including a private fundraiser in a Shorewood home, setting off a flurry of self-quarantines and questions amid the top circles of the state’s Republican establishment.
MDH will coordinate contact tracing efforts for Minnesota residents, although not the president himself, and the agency began with a public statement Friday intended to cast a wide net.
“There is a potential risk that transmission occurred at the Duluth rally and other events associated with President Trump’s visit,” the statement reads, in part. “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.”
The rally, held outdoors at the Duluth International Airport was, like many Trump events, in violation of CDC and state COVID-19 guidelines, as well as Gov. Tim Walz’s executive orders.
The Duluth Fire Department estimates that approximately 3,000 attended Trump’s outdoor campaign rally Wednesday night, and photos show throngs standing shoulder-to-shoulder, many unmasked. Walz’s order limits outdoors gatherings to 250 people and requires six feet of distance between individuals not in the same household.
Political consultant Blois Olson said on WCCO radio that he had seen images from the Shorewood fundraiser that showed a disregard for COVID-19 precautions.
“Staff and guests lingered after the president was there,” Olson told host Dave Lee Friday morning. “They sang karaoke, they had their arms around each other.”
Here’s what the Department of Health had to say:
“We know many who attended events may have questions about what to do next. Our guidance is as follows:
- Anyone who attended events associated with the President’s visit and who now has symptoms should get tested right away. People should consider getting tested even if they do not have symptoms because some people may not develop or recognize symptoms and people can spread the virus even without displaying symptoms. People should get tested five to seven days after the event. If they test negative, they should get tested again around 12 days after the event. People should get tested in their home communities and seek testing from their health care provider when possible.
Anyone who was a direct contact of President Trump or known COVID-19 cases needs to quarantine and should get tested. It is important to understand that quarantine for 14 days is necessary regardless of test results.
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.
The statement continues: “Any Minnesotan wishing to be tested in the Duluth area can get a test at the testing site set up at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (DECC).”
Forum News Services contributed to this report.