Our Opinion: Do not become complacent

Published 7:01 am Saturday, June 20, 2020

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This week’s sudden turnaround and spike in COVID-19 cases in Mower County is a stark reminder that we are not out of the woods yet and that this pandemic can turn on a dime.

After two days of minimal growth, the county saw a sudden and dramatic jump in the number of cases, raising by 73 on Wednesday and putting the total number at 733 cases since March 19.

This gives Mower a rather dour distinction as it is now the second highest case total per capita in the state of Minnesota behind Nobles County in southwestern Minnesota, which had 1,628 cases as of Friday. Mower is at 755.

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This comes at a time when states including Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina and Texas are all seeing steep climbs in new cases where before they saw enough reason to reopen states.

In total, 23 states are seeing an upward trend and while Minnesota as a whole is showing a plateauing of cases, it would be wise to recognize the lessons of those states who thought they were in the clear.

We urge people to continue to take the COVID-19 pandemic seriously so the steps we have made forward aren’t forced into being backward steps.

We applaud state and county health officials for recognizing the situation and for taking the steps this weekend to increase testing to all who want it.

Testing has shown nationwide to be as important as wearing masks. While this testing will inevitably show an increase in cases, in the long run this will help Mower County hopefully stem the tide.

All of this is a stark reminder that the coronavirus has not gone away and certainly is not under control. We urge people to continue taking the necessary steps in order to keep our neighbors safe.