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White House COVID advisor visits MN

Dr. Deborah Birx says Minnesotans need more mask-wearing when with friends and family members

SAINT PAUL, Minn. — White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Deborah Birx traveled through rural Minnesota on her way to St. Paul to meet with Governor Walz and other local health and policy leaders.

And she says she noticed a difference in who's wearing masks and taking other COVID-19 precautions.

"There is a real attention to these mitigation efforts in these urban areas, but there really does need to be improvement in many of the rural areas," Birx said.

Birx had a few different recommendations for Minnesotans. First, as the virus spreads more to smaller counties in the state, she wants rural residents to make sure they take the virus seriously.

"Sometimes in rural communities, they've because of their experience in March and April, they see this virus as more of a New York City or a big city kind of phenomenon," Birx said.

Birx also talked with state leaders about why the number of new cases each day in the Twin Cities metro has held steady for the last 8 weeks. She believes people need to start taking more precautions like masking with friends and family members.

"I think we're doing much better job in public. In our public mitigations. We have to take those home to private and ensure we're also doing that in the household," Birx said.

As summer comes to a close in Minnesota, Birx is calling on residents to work on lowering the number of cases in the state prior to winter, before everyone is forced inside by the cold.

"We're asking every Minnesotan to work really hard over the next four to six weeks to really bring these cases down," Birx said.

Birx has visited 22 other states as she has traveled the country, and she'll go to Wisconsin next.

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