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Top White House COVID-19 adviser visits Minnesota, urges compliance with mitigation strategies

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MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (KTTC) -- White House Coronavirus Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx paid a visit to Minnesota Sunday afternoon. She spoke with state leaders about the state's response to COVID-19.

Dr. Birx met with Gov. Tim Walz and other state health officials in a community round table.

She says Minnesota has seen 400 to 500 new COVID-19 cases "every single day" for the last eight weeks and wanted to check in with the state on mitigation efforts.

Dr. Birx says every Minnesotan needs to be following safety guidelines. It's something she says need to be a "common sense adaption of personal life."

The top COVID-19 fighter says while out and about in the Minneapolis community Sunday, she noticed public compliance on safety guidelines. She urges Minnesotans who may have been exposed, especially the younger population, to use these strategies -- like wearing a mask and social distancing -- at home too.

"If you've gone to a party of been on college campuses and gone to a party, please don't interact with your grandparents unless you are wearing mask," Dr. Birx said. "We really have to work to protect one another when we know we have done things that may have exposed ourselves to the virus and we have to understand that a lot of people in the younger age group won't get symptoms. So, if you are in the younger age group, please protect your moms, your dads, your grandparents, your aunts, your uncles."

Minnesota has gone from having two, to five, to nine counties that have a case percentage more than 10 percent. Dr. Birx says that fact is worrisome this late in the summer.

Dr. Birx also encourages rural communities to take the virus seriously as the risk of contracting COVID-19 is just as prominent in a rural community as it is in an urban community.

"Sometimes in rural communities, because of their experience in March and April, see this virus as more of a New York city or big city phenomenon," she said. "No, this virus has gotten very much into rural areas. And so, rural areas have to pay as much attention to this virus as the urban areas."

Beret Leone

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