ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota Department of Health says people in rural counties are still at a high risk for COVID-19, despite the numbers showing high numbers of cases are in urban areas.

At Wednesday's daily conference in St. Paul, Commissioner Jan Malcolm said one trend they’ve noticed is less social distancing by people in rural parts of the state.

We've seen some metrics suggesting that people in some of the rural areas of the state may be following the social distancing guidance with a little less rigor, perhaps lulled into a sense of security, a false sense of security I would say, by the fact that most of the cases so far are in the Twin Cities and other uran areas.

Malcolm says other factors include higher populations of elderly residents, more people with underlying health conditions, and less access to quality healthcare in those counties.

The MDH recommends that all Minnesotans continue to practice social distancing among other mitigation strategies.

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