Minnesota Wedding Linked to at Least 70 Coronavirus Cases

A wedding in Minnesota has been linked to at least 70 new coronavirus cases, officials said Wednesday.

The “large” wedding, which included an indoor ceremony, reception and dance, was held on Aug. 22 in the small town of Ghent, according to a release from the state’s Southwest Health and Human Services.

“Several people in attendance at the wedding have symptoms and have tested positive for COVID-19, but it is likely many more were exposed and could be infectious,” said the Aug. 26 release, urging people who were in contact with a wedding guest who tested positive or had symptoms to quarantine for 14 days.

“If you don’t know whether you had such contact, but you were at the wedding, reception or dance at the KB’s Bar and Grill that night, you should still be very diligent about limiting interactions with people as much as possible during the 14 days after the wedding, and be very conscientious about wearing a face mask and social distancing during that time,” said the official release.

State infectious disease director Kris Ehresmann said the celebration was held “indoors,” according to Today. She told the outlet the department is tracking patients who attended the wedding, which so far include "educators, long-term care workers, and health care workers" throughout nine Minnesota counties.

Minnesota has counted at least 81,920 coronavirus cases and 1,921 deaths since the onset of the pandemic, according to The New York Times. During a press conference last week, Gov. Tim Walz said large social gatherings are leading to the spread of the illness in the state.

"The backyard meetings, the barbecues, families mixing together not in their immediate family is driving a lot of what's happening here,” he said. “And again, I understand the pain of this. This is the basic social thing that makes summer so fun, but that's exactly the type of thing that we're seeing is having an impact on some of the spread."

Ehresmann echoed that sentiment at the same press conference, telling reporters, "We are seeing a concerning number of outbreaks from weddings, funerals and private parities."

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