Are neighboring states part of rural Minnesota virus growth?

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Statistics from Minnesota health officials show that the 10 counties with the fastest growth in coronavirus cases since the beginning of October are all in rural areas, many of which border surrounding states.

The Star Tribune reports that the rate of new cases per capita across 56 counties in greater Minnesota tripled between early September and early October. That compares with a doubling of the rate across the seven-county Twin Cities area.

Some health experts suggest rural Minnesota residents are influenced by neighboring states where public health responses such as mask mandates haven’t been as aggressive. It’s also possible people in border communities have been infected while in neighboring states.