MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The state’s COVID-19 numbers surged Tuesday, part of a trend we’re seeing across the country. In Minnesota, 625 new cases were announced, along with one new death. Compared to the number of new tests processed, Tuesday’s supposed positivity rate was 11.7%.
The state health department says some of these new numbers are from the weekend, but it’s still a sharp increase from last week, and experts are warning it will get worse.
Dr. Gregory Poland of the Mayo Clinic is one of the nation’s leading experts on vaccines. He said he still wears a mask even when he walks out of his Mayo office.
“I think there is no doubt that we will see an increase,” he said. “In a crowded scenario, I’m wearing a mask, indoors or outdoors.”
The Minnesota Department of Health says 99% of new cases in Minnesota are in unvaccinated people, and 75% of those new cases are the Delta variant.
“It’s a dire warning for us in Minnesota,” he said. “We’re seeing the Delta variant really take over.”
Poland has shared a particularly dire warning for those who have not yet been immunized against COVID.
“Don’t be fooled into saying ‘I’ve come this far and I’m fine.’ This is a very different variation. It will find you,” he said. “This virus will find everyone who is not immune.”
He is particularly worried about children too young to be vaccinated, and teenagers whose parents are in the fence.
“We are seeing an increase in serious illnesses and hospitalizations among young people,” Poland said.
He agreed with the American Academy of Pediatrics that, this fall, all children should wear a mask to school, whether or not they have been vaccinated.
“A mask is not a political symbol. It is a medical symbol of taking care of yourself and others,” he said.
Poland said the risk in crowded outdoor environments was even justified by this new increase, which came just two weeks after July 4.
“This is a serious, present and present danger to the health of you and your family if you are not vaccinated,” he said.