MDH: Don't even think about holding a 'COVID party' to get exposed

They said it's 'like playing Russian Roulette.'
Author:
Updated:
Original:
Party drinks

Health officials in Minnesota have warned people considering holding "COVID parties" to expose themselves to the virus to think again, saying they could be playing "Russian Roulette" with their safety.

Minnesota Department of Health Director of Infectious Diseases Kris Ehresmann says the department has heard "from various sources" that there are talks of groups of people organizing such parties, "presumably to get COVID at time more convenient to them."

This is similar to the "chickenpox parties" some parents held for their children before the vaccine for the disease was approved, and apparently is now being considered for COVID among younger Minnesotans, prompting a warning during the Wednesday COVID-19 MDH briefing.

"If you're thinking, 'let's just do this and get it over with,' it's really playing Russian Roulette," Ehresmann said.

She said that while cases of COVID-19 affecting younger people aren't typically as severe, "this does not mean younger individuals do not have serious illness."

"We've had at least three deaths in healthy people in their 20s," she said. "So this is something we are very concerned about."

With the pandemic only about six months old, health officials around the world are still learning more about the effects of COVID-19.

At this stage, it's not known whether you can be re-infected with COVID-19 having already had it.

There have been early studies that suggest antibodies to the virus diminish after two months from recovery, while a study of 61,000 people in Spain found that only 5 percent had COVID antibodies, a long way from the 60-70 percent required to develop herd immunity.

The comments from MDH come in the same week that the city of Edina has warned young people to limit their exposure to others, after a surge in cases among young people in the city.

Sign up for our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

The health department confirmed that surge Wednesday, saying contact tracing found that those infected have attended house parties, bonfires, and cabin weekends, while some sports teams have reported exposures – albeit some of those infected on said sports teams have also attended house parties and cabin weekends.

Ehresmann also said there have been multiple positive cases traced back to a "very large party held in late June in Edina."

"We recognize and appreciate the mayor's admonition to young people to ensure they are practicing social distancing," she said. "We want to acknowledge as well that this surge in young people is not restricted to Edina, young people from across state are accounting for the bulk of cases in the last two weeks."

Ehresmann said bars and restaurants continue to be a "significant source of exposure" in younger people, which follows several instances of multiple cases being traced back to bars in Minneapolis, Mankato, and St. Cloud.

Next Up

coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2

Minnesota confirms America's 1st case of Brazil P.1 COVID strain

The strain was found in a Twin Cities metro resident who recently traveled to Brazil.

classroom

Gov. Walz announces education plan aimed at eliminating disparities

The plan covers seven categories, including closing the racial education gap and improving opportunities in rural Minnesota

Tax forms

Charges: Otsego cleaning business underreported sales

An Otsego woman is accused of owing more than $20,500 in sales tax, penalties and interest.

Screen Shot 2020-04-17 at 2.58.26 PM

Walz gives vaccine providers 3-day, 7-day deadlines to use doses

Those that don't use their allocation will be given less in the future.

purse

Border officers seize more than $550K in counterfeit designer goods

The shipments of fake goods were seized on Jan. 22.

Landfill plastic bags

4 Twin Cities landfills seek to expand capacity

This comes as the area's waste-to-energy facilities are operating at capacity.

Marcus Carr

3 of 10 finalists for NCAA's top point guard award have MN ties

Not a bad way to represent the State of... Basketball?

Justice, court

Minnesota grants unconditional pardon to grandmother facing deportation

Gov. Tim Walz says it's the first full pardon granted by the state in 35 years.

covid-19, vaccine

Minnesota changes vaccine appointment process, here's what to know

Walz also announced plans for a mass vaccination event at Xcel Energy Center.

covid-19, coronavirus

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Monday, Jan. 25

The latest figures from MDH have been released.

covid-19, vaccine

Minnesota health leaders say state's vaccine progress better than figures suggest

Minnesota is lagging behind national vaccination rates, but MDH leaders say this is because it's holding 2nd doses in reserve.

Related

Screen Shot 2020-04-08 at 2.07.21 PM

MDH announces COVID-19 modeling presentation for Friday

There have been calls for the department to release more details about its models.

coronavirus, COVID-19 test

MDH announces 6 latest locations for free COVID-19 testing

The testing sites will be operational next week.

Tim Walz

Gov. Walz tells Minnesotans: The time to beat COVID-19 is now

The governor is pleading with Minnesotans to play their part as the state enters its darkest hour in the battle against COVID-19.

coronavirus, covid-19, icu

Minnesota's COVID-19 situation is dire, and too few are taking steps to stop it

Health officials say they're hoping to avoid another lockdown, but need people to stick to the advice already out there.

PPE, coronavirus, covid-19

MDH: Here's why MN coronavirus death figures aren't inflated

It follows misinformation being shared on social media relating to death certificates.

Governor Tim Walz

Coronavirus: Gov. Tim Walz to hold press conference on Friday

The governor will provide an update on Minnesota's response to the coronavirus.