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President Trump speaks to a crowd of 2,000 supporters during a rally at the Bemidji Regional Airport on Sept. 18 in Bemidji, Minnesota. Photo by Stephen Maturen via Getty

The Minnesota Department of Health has traced nearly two dozen coronavirus cases to three campaign events held last month, an official told Axios on Monday.

Why it matters: The Trump campaign has come under repeated fire for being lax about mask requirements and not adhering to social distancing and other local guidelines at its events.

  • Minnesota has also seen a surge in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks, with nearly 1,600 new COVID-19 cases reported on Monday, per MPR News.

Details: At least 23 cases were traced to outbreaks occurring at Trump campaign events in Bemidji, Minneapolis and Duluth, per Doug Schultz, a spokesperson for the Minnesota Department of Health.

  • Officials have tied at least 16 cases, include two hospitalizations, to a rally, attended by President Trump, in Bemidji on Sept. 18, Schultz said.
  • More than 2,000 people attended the rally, per CNN, and many did not wear masks.
  • State officials also traced three cases to a "Cops for Trump" event in Minneapolis, which was held indoors on Sept. 24 and attended by Vice President Mike Pence and Ivanka Trump.
  • Four other cases were traced to a Trump rally held in Duluth on Sept. 30.
  • Schulz confirmed the cases that emerged at each event can be considered an outbreak, which is defined by the health department as involving “two or more cases of illness related by time and place in which an epidemiologic investigation suggests either person-to-person transmission occurred or a vehicle other than food or water (e.g., animal contact) is identified."
  • He noted, however, that people did not necessarily get infected at the events "directly."

What they're saying: Courtney Parella, deputy national press secretary for the Trump campaign, told Axios the campaign takes "strong precautions for our campaign events, requiring every attendee to have their temperature checked, be provided a mask they’re instructed to wear, and ensuring access to plenty of hand sanitizer."

  • She added that the campaign also has "signs at our events instructing attendees to wear their masks."

Of note: Minnesota has traced cases to other events related to the election.

  • Four cases were traced to a counter-protest held near the rally in Bemidji on Sept. 18.
  • One case was traced to a Joe Biden campaign stop in Duluth on Sept. 18.
  • One case was traced to an event with Eric Trump on Oct. 1.

Go deeper

Updated 24 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters — Omicron variant lifts Moderna's stock price — CDC strengthens COVID booster recommendation.
  2. Politics: Biden says fight against Omicron won't include "shutdowns or lockdowns."
  3. States: Federal court blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for health workers in 10 states — NYC urges masks indoors "at all times" regardless of vaccination status — New York declares state of emergency amid concerns over Omicron.
  4. World: Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating worldWHO warns against travel bans on southern African countries — First North American Omicron cases identified in Canada.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Jan 30, 2021 - World

Germany to impose travel restrictions to curb spread of coronavirus variants

Border police officers check passports and COVID-19 tests at Frankfurt Airport. Photo: Thomas Lohnes via Getty Images

Germany announced Friday that it was imposing new travel restrictions in an effort to curb the spread of more contagious coronavirus variants.

Details: All non-German residents traveling from countries deemed "areas of variant concern," including the United Kingdom, South Africa, Portugal, Ireland, Brazil, Lesotho and Eswatini, will be banned from entering the country, even if they test negative for the coronavirus.

Jan 29, 2021 - Health

Ex-CDC director Tom Frieden on the next COVID-19 vaccines

Americans fortunate enough to receive COVID vaccines now, outside of clinical trials, are getting shots made by either Pfizer or Moderna. But newly released data from Novavax and Johnson & Johnson suggests that more vaccines could be on the way, with J&J's requiring a single dose.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the news and why it matters with Tom Frieden, former head of the CDC, as COVID-19 variants spread globally.