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COVID-19 cases among kids in Edina are increasing 'rapidly'

"If we want our kids to go back to school in the fall, we've got to keep them practicing these important habits," Edina Mayor Jim Hovland said.

The number of COVID-19 cases among young people in Edina is "increasing rapidly," and the mayor is urging people to remind their kids to follow public health guidelines to slow the spread of the virus.

"If we want our kids to go back to school in the fall, we've got to keep them practicing these important habits," Edina Mayor Jim Hovland said in his "Mayor's Minute" video on Monday

Those habits include handwashing, social distancing, wearing a mask, and covering their mouth when they cough or sneeze. 

As of Monday, the City of Edina has 381 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19, Hovland said. And in the past two weeks, more than 150 cases have been confirmed. 

And the age of those testing positive for COVID-19 is trending younger.

From June 25-July 6, 154 people in Edina tested positive for COVID-19 (an average of 13 new cases a day). The median age of cases is 20, with 74 percent of the new cases among those under age 25. 

That's significantly younger than what Edina saw in the first three months after the novel coronavirus was first reported in the city.

From March 12-June 24, 227 people tested positive for COVID-19 (an average of two new cases per day). The median age among cases was 57, with 12 percent of cases in people under age 25. 

How kids are getting COVID in Edina

Young people are being exposed to the coronavirus at house parties, bonfires, cabin trips and while playing organized sports, the city has learned through contact tracing.

"It's just from socializing," Hovland says, noting Edina hasn't seen the virus spread among young people via bars and restaurants like in other areas of the country where the number of cases among people in their 20s and 30s has skyrocketed.

According to tweets from WCCO reporter Erin Hassanzadeh, the Edina Public School District said they're aware of about 20 student-athletes who were participating in summer camps who have tested positive for COVID-19 over the past week or so, with the cases involving both boys and girls teams.

"We need our young people to be more careful about what they're doing," Hovland added, saying parents should remind their kids who are in sports and activities to follow the rules and guidelines in the organization's COVID-19 plan, which they all developed with the city's Parks and Recreation Department.

And if you've been exposed to the virus, self-quarantine for 14 days and be tested, Hovland said, citing guidelines from state and national health officials. This is important for everyone to follow, but especially the city's young residents, Hovland stressed.

Hovland shared the news about the increase in cases among young people on the same day the city's mask requirement went into effect, which makes it mandatory for people to wear face coverings in a majority of public indoor spaces.

The Edina City Council on Wednesday will decide whether to extend the mask requirement or not.

How Edina compares to the rest of MN

Total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Minnesota by age as of July 7.

Total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Minnesota by age as of July 7.

What's happening in Edina is similar to what is happening across Minnesota, with cases among people 6 to 19 more than doubling since June 1, totaling 3,598 cases as of July 7, and the average age of those with coronavirus dropping, according to the Minnesota Department of Health.

But Edina bucks the statewide trend when it comes to who has tested positive for the virus overall, with the city seeing nearly the same number of cases among kids as it has among those 70 and older. 

"It has been reported that those 70 and older are most at-risk for contracting the disease, however in Edina we've had 85 cases amongst those 70 and older and we've had 83 of our cases affecting people under age 19," Hovland said. 

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