Nearly two dozen COVID cases traced to Daunte Wright protests

State health officials made the announcement Thursday.
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Both police officers and protesters were stricken with COVID-19 in the demonstrations that followed the Daunte Wright shooting, state officials have revealed.  

In a coronavirus press conference on Thursday, Kris Ehresmann of the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) said that the agency's "disease investigators" have linked 22 cases of the virus to the protests.

Ehresmann, who heads up MDH's Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Prevention, and Control Division, said those cases were evenly split between police and protesters.

She also called on anyone who was involved in the demonstrations to quarantine and get tested if they had a known exposure to COVID-19. 

"Masking and social distancing still have protective value especially if you are in a tightly packed group and around many people," she added, notting that "outdoors is safer than indoors, but it's not 100 percent safe."

It's not clear how many of the 22 cases, if any, required hospitalization. 

As the Pioneer Press notes, officials tracking coronavirus infections from last summer's George Floyd protests found lower than expected transmission, with a positivity rate of 1.5 percent. 

The police shooting of Daunte Wright, which occurred on April 11 during a traffic stop in Brooklyn Center, led to days of protests outside the city's police station.

According to Friday's coronavirus update from the MDH, Minnesota saw 1,877 new cases and 16 new deaths. The state's death toll since the start of the pandemic stands at 7,144.

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