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With early voting underway, Minnesota COVID-19 instances attain report excessive

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Early voting is effectively underway in battleground Minnesota as coronavirus instances attain report highs.

Greater than 900,000 ballots have been solid lower than three weeks forward of Nov. 3 — 30% of the state’s complete 2016 voter turnout, in keeping with information from the U.S. Elections Mission.

On the identical time, the state reported 2,300 new COVID-19 instances Friday — 50% increased than the report variety of infections reported final Saturday, in keeping with the Star Tribune.

Carla Gillespie with her son Dylan visited her mother, Evelyn Solberg, at the Jones-Harrison Residence. (RICHARD TSONG-TAATARII ¥ richard.tsong-taatarii@startribune.comrin)

Carla Gillespie along with her son Dylan visited her mom, Evelyn Solberg, on the Jones-Harrison Residence. (RICHARD TSONG-TAATARII ¥ richard.tsong-taatarii@startribune.comrin)

“The acceleration in instances and neighborhood unfold is a reminder that it solely takes one contagious individual to result in an outbreak,” Minnesota Well being Commissioner Jan Malcolm mentioned in a Thursday assertion. “These developments are most troublesome in larger Minnesota proper now, as we see smaller, on a regular basis gatherings and actions resulting in infections in long-term care amenities, colleges, sports activities groups, companies, and extra.”

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Malcolm continued: “Testing is among the vital methods we are able to take motion, to search out out if we’re optimistic and isolate and quarantine when essential, to combat the unfold of this virus.”

Minnesota has reported greater than 1,000 instances in 12 out of the previous 16 days, and 91 deaths have been reported over the previous week, the Star Tribune reported.

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Greater than 1.65 million individuals have requested absentee ballots in Minnesota. In Hennepin County, greater than 77% of ballots have been solid by mail thus far, in keeping with the outlet. However some Minnesotans are opting to vote in-person regardless of chilly climate and lengthy traces, and well being considerations as a result of coronavirus spike.

Others like Zeke Polken, 22, are selecting to hand-deliver their absentee ballots to particular poll packing containers. 

“I wished to guarantee that I might actively put it in someplace,” he informed the newspaper. “Get all of it settled, fill it out after which simply drop it in and say, ‘I did that.'”

Merrie Zakaras, elections decide at a voting heart on the Ramsey County Library in Roseville, mentioned the middle is averaging 340 voters per day, the Star Tribune reported.

The Minnesota Division of Well being mentioned voting in-person is similar to going to the grocery retailer and that voters ought to take into account various choices equivalent to absentee voting and mail-in dropoff areas to scale back the unfold of COVID-19. The division suggests attempting to keep away from giant crowds, sporting a masks, voting at off-peak instances, social distancing and utilizing hand sanitizer, amongst different security measures. 

A federal decide this week prolonged Minnesota’s deadline to simply accept and rely ballots postmarked by Nov. Three to seven days after Election Day. 

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