Report: White House tells 11 cities, including Minneapolis, to take 'aggressive' measures to fight COVID-19

Dr. Deborah Birx reportedly issued the warning in a private call with city leaders.
Author:
Updated:
Original:
Nicollet Mall

Minneapolis is one of 11 cities identified by the White House Coronavirus Task Force that require "aggressive" steps to tackle the COVID-19 outbreak, according to a report on Wednesday.

The Center for Public Integrity reports that the warning came in a private call from Dr. Deborah Birx, who leads the task force, to state and local leaders on Wednesday, which was the result of the 11 cities seeing increases in the percentage of positive COVID-19 tests, with others including Baltimore, Indianapolis, Miami, and New Orleans.

"The call was yet another private warning about the seriousness of the coronavirus outbreaks given to local officials but not the public at large," the report says, and comes a week after the Center for Public Integrity revealed a White House report that showed 18 states in the "red zone" for COVID-19 cases. Minnesota is not one of those states, though Iowa is.

Despite Minneapolis' apparent inclusion in Birx's warning, the latest figures from the City of Minneapolis appears to show that there hasn't been a significant spike in COVID-19 cases.

While cases have risen – as they have statewide – after a downturn in June, they have not risen to the highs seen in May as has been the case in many other states that have looser restrictions for businesses and gatherings.

That said, Minneapolis does not provide figures for the number of tests conducted, so we're unable to calculate what the percentage positive rate is in the city.

Screen Shot 2020-07-23 at 8.52.03 AM

However, the latest data for Thursday showed that cases have been rising in Hennepin and Ramsey counties at a faster rate than other parts of the state in recent weeks.

Statewide, Minnesota is hovering around the 5 percent rate that the World Health Organization recommends is the safe level for businesses to continue operating.

Minneapolis has had a face mask requirement in place since May 26, but several of its bars or restaurants have either been linked to COVID-19 outbreaks among predominantly younger people, or have been warned for failing to adhere to face mask, social distancing, and 50 percent capacity requirements.

Birx reportedly told city leaders and managers to increase their contact tracing to get any potential spike in cases under control, noting that even a small rise in the percentage positive rate could lead to bigger spikes down the road.

The report didn't say if anyone from Minneapolis was on the call. BMTN has reached out for a comment.

Sign up for our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

Next Up

Sergio Romo

Twins decline 2021 option on Sergio Romo

The Twins begin a potential overhaul in the bullpen.

high school football

'Scalpel approach' gives MN schools chance to keep playing sports

County infection rates are no longer the only thing that matters.

CJ-AHyggeHoliday-Photo2

With the help of HVAC, Circus Juventas will host its first holiday shows

After months of canceled classes and shows, Circus Juventas is hosting its first ever holiday show, with safety precautions.

Cameron Dantzler

Vikings send Cameron Dantzler to COVID-19/reserve list

Dantzler's placement leaves the Vikings paper-thin at cornerback heading into Green Bay.

peterson fischbach

Elections 2020 preview: 7th Congressional District

Will Collin Peterson hang on for yet another term?

Zimmer and Hunter

Zimmer explains why he called Hunter's neck injury a 'tweak'

The coach also said Dalvin Cook should return from injury this week.

magazines

60 charged in magazine scam that netted $300M

It's being called the largest elder fraud scheme in the country.

Screen Shot 2020-10-28 at 10.30.23 AM

The Star Tribune is shutting down City Pages

The free newspaper was bought by the Star Tribune in 2015.

billy's on grand

Coronavirus: Billy's on Grand will close for winter

The restaurant is among a growing list of eateries to close for the winter months.

Related

coronavirus, masks, covid-19

White House COVID-19 adviser visits MN, urges people to wear masks

Dr. Deborah Birx addresses "worrisome" trend in Minnesota.

coronavirus, COVID-19

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Saturday, July 11

The latest figures from the Minnesota Department of Health.

bar

14 MN bars, restaurants warned for alleged breaches of COVID-19 rules

Employees not wearing face masks was the main violation.

coronavirus, COVID-19

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Sunday, September 13

Sunday's data includes all statistics reported to the MDH through 4 p.m. Saturday.

coronavirus, doctor, nurse, covid-19

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Sunday, September 6

The latest figures from the Department of Health.

coronavirus, ICU, covid-19 hospital, doctor

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Sunday, August 23

The latest figures have been released by the Minnesota Department of Health.