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30 family members contract COVID-19 following funeral

LAKE PARK — Thirty grieving members of a family in a small northwestern Minnesota town have contracted the coronavirus after attending a funeral for a loved one.

The family of 78-year-old Francis Perreault gathered at the Catholic church in the Becker County community of Lake Park in mid-July to celebrate his life.

Yet despite wearing masks and taking precautions 30 people contracted COVID-19, including five who were hospitalized, the Star Tribune reported.

“We tried to do everything right, but of course when you’re grieving, you let your guard down,” said Stephanie Schindler, Perreault’s daughter. “One of my friends that got sick was wearing a mask the whole time. But of course when you’re crying, you’re going to be rubbing your face.”

Schindler said several of those hospitalized have since been released. She said the positive tests have brought home the reality that COVID-19 is a threat even in places that aren’t so densely populated.

“I think in a rural area, you have to be aware that if you have people coming from out of state or even interstate — places different from your own home — you are going to share that space and the germs are gonna fly,” she said. “I just have to caution people about — please be careful. Even in this rural area, there is still COVID.”

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