MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota health officials urged this week that people wear masks — and wear them properly — as the state reported an additional seven COVID-19-related deaths on Saturday and 964 new infections.
A total of 6,369 people have died from complications of the virus in Minnesota since the pandemic began, and there have been a total of 472,791 confirmed cases statewide. According to state figures, 641,844 people have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 209,010 have received the full two-dose series.
As Gov. Tim Walz scaled back some restrictions on bars, restaurants, fitness centers and private social gatherings this week, health officials reminded the public that wearing masks properly can help protect people form contracting the virus.
The Star Tribune reported Saturday that surveys showed 57% of Minnesotans always wore masks in public in August, but the rate has since increased to 78%, according to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluations in Washington state. The rate of Minnesotans who at least say they wear masks most of the time is above 93%.
But there is concern that people are not wearing masks properly. Researchers at the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy reviewed video of public events and found roughly a quarter of people were wearing masks under their noses.