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Edina mayor warns of surge in COVID-19 cases among young people

Mayor Jim Hovland said the median age of COVID-19 cases in Edina has gone from 57 to 20.

EDINA, Minn. — The city of Edina is seeing a surge in COVID-19 cases among young people, according to the mayor.

Edina Mayor Jim Hovland posted a "Mayor's Minute" video on the City of Edina's Facebook page Monday, calling attention to the increase and asking young people to be more careful.

"The city of Edina has a significant increase in the number of COVID-19 cases amongst our youngest residents," Hovland said in his video message.

Hovland said there have been 381 lab-confirmed tests of COVID-19 in Edina as of Monday morning, July 6. More than 140 of those were confirmed in the last two weeks.

From March 12, the date of the first coronavirus case in Edina, until June 24, the city saw a total of 227 cases, averaging out to be about two new cases a day. The median age was 57, and 12% were under 25, according to Hovland.

From June 25 to Monday, July 6, there were 154 cases, an average of about 13 new cases per day. Hovland said 74% under age 25, and there was a median case age of 20. Eighty-three of Edina's cases, or nearly 22%, are people under the age of 19.

Those Edina numbers are increasing at a time when cases among young people are climbing across Minnesota. People ages 20-29 now represent the age group with the most cases in the state, and the Minnesota Department of Health has urged young people to be more careful, saying, "You are not invincible and neither are your loved ones."

Wisconsin also asked people to stay home over the Fourth of July weekend, citing a surge in cases among young adults.

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"We need our young people to be more careful about what they're doing," the Edina mayor said. "And we've been finding out how they've been spreading it. Contact tracing by public health officials shows that our young people have been exposed to the novel coronvairus at house parties, bonfires, cabin trips and organized sports."

Hovland said they're not seeing restaurants and bars as the main driver of these cases in Edina, as has been the case in some other cities.

"Simply put, it's just from socializing," Hovland said.

The mayor asked parents of children in sports and activities to make sure their kids are following the team or organization's public health plan.

"If you have a young person in your life, please remind them of the importance of proper handwashing, respiratory etiquette, practicing social distancing ... and of course, wearing a mask in public," Hovland said.

The mayor's order to wear masks in the city went into effect Monday at 12:01 a.m. Until the city council takes up the matter, Hovland reminded the public that masks are now required in retail establishments and city-owned buildings.

The mayor also urged anyone exposed to a coronavirus case to quarantine for 14 days and be tested.

"If we want our kids to go back to school in the fall, we've got to keep them practicing these important habits," he said.

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