LAKE PARK, Minn. – At least 30 people have become infected with the coronavirus after attending a family funeral in Minnesota.
More than 50 people attended the funeral for Francis Perreault, 78, who had a stroke and Parkinson’s disease, the Pioneer Press reported.
Attendees wore masks during the funeral in July. However, social distancing and mask wearing unraveled after the service.
“I think one or two people came to the funeral not feeling well,” St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church priest Father Bob LaPlante said. “It’s what they always say, if you’re not feeling well, stay home.”
Perreault’s daughter, Stephanie Schindler, found out Tuesday about the first person who tested positive. Soon, so did she as well as her mother, husband and oldest daughter. Their cases were mild and they recovered; however other members of the family were hospitalized or had to go to an intensive care unit.
“I think one of our biggest no-no’s is that we had people staying here with us and staying with my mom,” Schindler said. “You know you wear your mask, but after a while, you take off the masks and just feel like family. But you’re bringing everything with you.”
State health officials are seeing a surge in cases caused by social gatherings.
“We do have church gatherings, including funerals, among those places where we have traced recent outbreaks,” said Minnesota State Health Department Information Officer Doug Schultz. “It’s important to remember that any gathering of people not of the same household, where people are not wearing masks or social distancing, is a potential source for spread of the virus. Please wear your mask, stay six feet from the next person, cover your coughs and sneezes, wash your hands and stay home if you are ill.”
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