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Seven more Sturgis-related COVID-19 cases reported in Minnesota

Plus: protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin after police shot a man Sunday evening; state regulators penalize two Twin Cities hospitals over insufficient protections for caregivers; Vikings say eight players, one coach and three staff members test positive for COVID-19 amid reports of false-positives; and more.

Bikes and rallygoers fill Main Street during the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis, South Dakota, in an August 4, 2015, photo.
Bikes and rallygoers fill Main Street during the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis, South Dakota, in an August 4, 2015, photo.
REUTERS/Kristina Barker

In the Star Tribune, Christopher Snowbeck says, “Seven more Minnesotans who attended this month’s Sturgis Motorcycle Rally have tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19, state health officials said Sunday. Minnesota health officials announced on Friday 15 cases that were associated with attending the 10-day event in South Dakota. …Health officials don’t know for certain that the 22 people were exposed at the event, but they think it’s very likely since individuals are not reporting links to any known cases, said Kris Ehresmann, the director of infectious diseases at the Minnesota Department of Health. ‘Unfortunately, I think this is just the beginning of the cases we will see from Sturgis,’ Ehresmann said via e-mail.”

In the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Meg Jones writes: “Kenosha police shot a man Sunday evening, setting off unrest in the city after a video appeared to show the officer firing several shots at close range into the man’s back. The shooting victim has been identified as Jacob Blake, a Black man, by Wisconsin officials. He was in serious condition at Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee as of early Monday morning. … Large crowds soon gathered at the scene of the shooting, and protests and unrest, including several fires, continued into the early hours of Monday.”

Also in the Star Tribune, Joe Carlson writes: “State health and safety inspectors have penalized two Twin Cities hospitals for serious problems related to insufficient COVID-19 protections for front-line caregivers. North Memorial Health Hospital in Robbinsdale and United Hospital in St. Paul were each hit with $2,100 citations after workers complained to the state about an array of allegedly unsafe practices related to breathing devices and other personal protective equipment (PPE).”

A story from WCCO-TV and the AP says, “The Minnesota Vikings announced that eight players, one coach and three staff members have presumptive positive COVID-19 tests. Head coach Mike Zimmer said all 12 will not participate in Sunday’s practice. They will be isolating themselves while the results are confirmed or determined to be false positives. … The NFL revealed Sunday that several positive COVID-19 tests were found a day earlier by one of its testing partners. The Minnesota Vikings said they had 12, the New York Jets 10 and the Chicago Bears nine.”

At The Daily Beast, a trio of reporters say, “The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Sunday announced it had issued an emergency use authorization for convalescent blood plasma as an experimental treatment for COVID-19. The treatment, which hinges on injecting antibodies from COVID-19 survivors into other patients to boost their body’s defenses against the virus, has been used on at least 97,000 patients. So far, though, the plasma treatment has only produced middling data to support its efficacy. … ‘I’d say it’s probably beneficial to issue an emergency authorization, which will make it easier to administer more broadly,’ Stephen Jameson, a University of Minnesota immunologist, told The Daily Beast. ‘But it’s hardly a new breakthrough, since tens of thousands of people have already been given this — and what’s been reported so far doesn’t make it sound like this treatment will instantly cure people or anything like that.’”

Writes Melissa Townsend for MPR, “Minnesotans who are behind in their rent or mortgage will soon have a shot at getting some relief.  Starting Monday, they can apply for a piece of the $100 million in assistance the Minnesota housing agency is doling out across the state. The money comes from the federal CARES Act and is intended for those struggling financially because of COVID-19. The cash can help both renters and homeowners who meet income requirements and who are behind in their housing costs — such as rent, mortgage, lot fees for manufactured home parks and utility payments.”

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The Star Tribune’s Randy Furst says, “In 2017, Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria ‘Rondo’ Arradondo met with a small group of community activists who urged him to adopt a training program that teaches officers to intervene when a colleague uses excessive force. The duty to intervene in such cases is one of the department’s rules, but the group argued it was not enough. Arradondo posed a hypothetical situation to the group, describing trainees witnessing misconduct by their field training officer (FTO). … That scenario played out 2½ years later when officer Derek Chauvin, a veteran in his 20th year with Minneapolis police, planted his knee on the neck of George Floyd for nearly eight minutes, killing him, while three less experienced officers, two of them just days on the job, did not stop him. All four officers have been fired and face felony charges.

A story for The Hill by J. Edward Moreno says, “The presidential election is likely to come down to six key swing states, all of which allow voters to request mail-in ballots without an excuse.  Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin … .In 2016, 819,316 voters in Wisconsin voted absentee, but less than 18 percent of those absentee voters did so by mail. Most absentee ballots cast in previous years were done in the municipal clerk’s office in the weeks before the election, not by mail. In April, 1.1 million of the 1.55 million ballots cast in the state’s primary were by mail. As of this week there are already more than 800,000 absentee ballot requests on file for November.”