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Healthcare Workers and Citizens request a Temporary Stay on Line 3 Construction

Web posted November 17, 2020
Out-of State workers come into the State for possible Nov. 30 construction start date

More than a dozen Aitkin County healthcare workers and concerned residents of northern Minnesota in the path of Enbridge’s Line 3 – which could begin construction as early as November 30 despite ongoing Appellate Court appeals – are petitioning Governor Walz, the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) and State Health Commissioner Malcom to issue a temporary stay on construction as the Covid-19 pandemic surges across the northland and throughout the state.

More healthcare workers and residents are expected to sign in the days ahead as the situation worsens, while the White Earth Reservation Tribal government has also called for a stay in a letter to the Governor earlier last week.

See Link to Petition here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1pDdyjkVoQBmQgoY-8ZqZLXarSpWCIiSyIbxqZ6WQ7I0/edit

Health officials call Enbridge’s six-part Covid-19 Plan and its temperature checks onsite at construction areas “inadequate” and do not protect the residents, or even the workers, from community spread of the virus. At the Riverwood Healthcare Center in Aitkin, for example, over a dozen staffers are reportedly out sick now and the facility is out of beds.

Moreover, there are grave concerns that the current surge of Covid is already putting very limited rural healthcare systems and medical staff like that in Aitkin at a critical point and may not be able to handle an expected increase in cases.


CLARIFICATION:
Web posted November 24, 2020
The Northland Press would like to clarify a statement made in the article titled “Healthcare Workers and Citizens request a Temporary Stay on Line 3 Construction” in the Nov. 17, 2020 edition. The clarification is for the following sentence: “At the Riverwood Healthcare Center in Aitkin, for example, over a dozen staffers are reportedly out sick now and the facility is out of beds.” Liz J. Dean, Exec. Dir. of Strategy & Business Development at Riverwood Healthcare Center stated: “There is currently a higher demand for hospital beds at Riverwood and statewide due to the COVID-19 surge. While at times in the past week our hospital has reached full capacity, it’s a fluid situation that we are monitoring very closely and partnering with other health care facilities in our region on transfers of patients as needed.”


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