State health officials are urging people who attended last weekend’s North Star Stampede Rodeo in Effie to watch for symptoms of COVID-19 and to take precautions to limit spread after learning that an attendee was infectious while at the event.

The Minnesota Department of Health has determined that a Minnesota resident from a neighboring county attended the North Star Stampede in Effie in Itasca County July 25-27 while they were infectious with COVID-19.

The person developed symptoms July 27 and tested positive the same day for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 disease. Because people are infectious several days before symptom onset, health officials determined the person was infectious while at the event.

“If you attended this event, you should consider yourself potentially exposed,” said Jan Malcolm, Minnesota Health Commissioner. “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.”

“Symptoms to watch for include fever, cough, shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, muscle aches and chills,” said Kelly Chandler, department manager for Itasca County Public Health.

The following Itasca County facilities are able to provide testing for Effie Rodeo attendees who may have been exposed:

Scenic Rivers/Bigfork Valley, Bigfork: Call 877-541-2817 or 218-743-3232 to be screened by a nurse and arrange drive-up testing as appropriate. You must have an appointment. Scenic Rivers Clinic-Bigfork is open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Saturdays, 8 a.m. - noon. COVID testing hours are Monday through Friday, 1 – 4 p.m.

Essentia Health, Deer River: First complete an E-visit with Essentia Health (go to Essentia offers swabbing in Deer River seven days per week, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Grand Itasca Clinic & Hospital, Grand Rapids: Call 218-326-7344 to request a telephone visit with provider, provider will provide instruction for curbside testing. Testing hours are 8 a.m. -5 p.m., seven days per week.


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