North Star Stampede attendees asked to watch for COVID symptoms

The Minnesota Department of Health says one attendee of the North Star Stampede in Effie tested positive for COVID-19.

According to a release, the patient is a Minnesota resident in a county that neighbors Itasca, and developed symptoms July 27. The patient tested positive the same day for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

“Because people are infectious several days before symptoms start, health officials determined the person was infectious while at the event,” the release says.

Anyone who attended the rodeo July 23-26 is asked to watch for symptoms of COVID-19 and to take precautions to limit the spread.

“People may have been infected with the virus, and we have an opportunity to prevent additional spread of the disease if we can get those in attendance to take the necessary precautions,” said Minnesota Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm.

“If you attended this event, you should consider yourself potentially exposed. That means you should be watching for symptoms and if you do develop symptoms, seek health care and get tested. In the meantime, please limit your public interactions and activities for 14 days, practice social distancing and wear a mask during all interactions with others.”

One organizer of the rodeo, Cimarron Pitzen, posted this on Facebook a few days before the event:

“Thanks to John Olson from the Mn Dept. of Health and Jason Pleggenkuhle from the Attorney General’s office pushing their political agendas, The North Star Stampede will take place with no spectators. If people would like to come and protest against this ridiculous Government Over Reach, feel free to do so, I will not stand in the way of people’s ‘Right to Assemble.'”

This article was updated on Monday, Aug. 3, to reflect a correction from the Minnesota Department of Health: “A news release sent earlier today incorrectly reported the dates that an infectious person attended the North Star Stampede in Effie, MN. The person was there July 23 through July 26 and became ill on July 27. Based on what is known about COVID-19, the person was infectious during their time at the rodeo. We apologize for the error.”


Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers events and issues in north central Minnesota, which include local government, crime, courts, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University and received her degree in 2018. Larissa, native to the great state of New York, grew up in Bemidji, and enjoys spending her spare time with her family and pet cat. She also loves Star Trek, punk rock music and the theater.


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