ROCHESTER, Minn. - The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Minnesota has pushed to above 81,000 since the pandemic began.
Over Labor Day weekend health officials issued pleas to keep following pandemic safety guidelines over the holiday.
However, Olmsted County Public Health is still expecting there to be a jump in cases in the next couple of weeks.
While large gatherings are still discouraged Director Graham Briggs says at least the nicer Labor Day weekend weather meant many people were safer getting together outdoors.
Now, as we’re seeing cooler temperatures, Briggs says there’s an even greater risk of infection if people start to relax their guard and host more indoor gatherings.
"It's that much more important as we are entering a new chapter here I think in our COVID-19 pandemic as we move
into these fall and winter months," Briggs said. “We do have a concern as people move indoors more. It becomes more important to follow those safety recommendations to help slow transmission here locally.”
Olmsted County says at this point its system hasn’t been overwhelmed by COVID-19 cases but doesn’t want to get to the point where hundreds of cases are coming in a day because staff wouldn’t be able to handle that.
The health department says if an effective vaccine is developed and distributed effectively it could help lessen the risk of an increase in COVID-19 deaths.