ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx visited Rochester Saturday with an important message: take the Coronavirus seriously.
Birx hosted a press conference after conducting private meetings with state, local and healthcare leaders. She said the recent spike in COVID-19 cases is due to an increase in indoor gatherings now that it's getting colder.
"I'm asking every Minnesotan to take extra precautions around people who are not part of your household," Birx said at the press conference.
She says this means wearing a mask (making sure it covers both your nose and mouth) and avoiding spaces where others aren't wearing masks or social distancing. Minnesota currently ranks 19th in the country for number of COVID-19 cases.
"But it's rising," Birx said. "And it's rising at a rate that we hadn't seen through the summer or in the spring. And so we have deep concern about Minnesotans at this moment."
Birx emphasized that it doesn't matter whether you live in an urban or rural area; COVID-19 is everywhere. She added that in order to contain the virus, every American needs to do their part to stop the spread.
"The future does look devastating right now," Birx said. "But we can stop that community spread if we work together."