September 25, 2020
In what was intended to be a research study to help determine how the COVID-19 virus is spread in communities throughout Minnesota, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) began dispatching two-person teams into communities for voluntary participation in a survey called CASPER (Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response).
Two Wright County Public Health employees – Shelley Layer and Chastity Booth – were joined by registered nurses to conduct the surveys in the cities of Delano, Rockford, Annandale and Maple Lake and their experience was overwhelmingly positive. Not everyone chose to participate, but there was no overtly negative pushback.
That wasn’t the case in other areas of the state, where workers were harassed, intimidated by armed residents, subject to racial slurs and treated in a manner far removed from the cliché “Minnesota Nice.”
In a surprise announcement, CDC