'Please, please, please get vaccinated,' Minnetonka mayor pleads
The COVID-related state of emergency in Minnetonka may be officially coming to an end this weekend, but the city's mayor is pleading with residents to buckle down on their vigilance as Delta variant cases escalate.
In a Friday mass email, Mayor Brad Wiersum called the Delta variant a "game changer," with infections on the rise and breakthrough cases being reported across the country.
"My sincere desire is that the COVID-19 pandemic is over as well," Wiersum wrote. "I want that to be true, but it is not."
Noting that the city's state of emergency ends Saturday, July 31, Wiersum acknowledged that "no one wants to turn the dial back to where it was" earlier in the pandemic, adding, "my hope is that responsible, considerate behavior by all of us can turn the tide."
"My big ask is this," Wiersum said. "If you have not yet done so, please, please, please get vaccinated." (emphasis Wiersum's)
He went on to note that shots are "readily available," and called on residents to continue wearing masks in areas where social distancing is a challenge.
"Vaccination is the kindest action you can take for yourself, your family and your friends and neighbors," the mayor said.
Wiersum has been mayor of Minnetonka since 2017, having spent 15 years as the city's Ward 3 council member, per his city bio.
Minnesota state officials reported 702 new cases and 5 new deaths from COVID-19 on Friday — bringing the state's death toll to 7,668 since the start of the pandemic.
The same day, NBC News reported that "at least 125,000 fully vaccinated Americans have tested positive for Covid and 1,400 of those have died."
Despite this, such cases remain relatively uncommon, with the network noting that "the number of cases and deaths among the vaccinated is very small compared to the number among the unvaccinated."
If you are interested in getting the vaccine, you can use the state's website to find your nearest location. You can also track nationwide infection rates as well as "hot spots" with the Mayo Clinic's coronavirus map.