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COVID-19 Area Updates

Web posted March 24, 2020
By Paul Boblett, Editor

Social distancing has become the new normal as government officials, businesses and organizations deal with the rapidly changing landscape due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The weekend brought news of the first person testing positive in Cass County, and Saturday, the first case was reported in St.Louis County.

The public is strongly urged to adhere to state and federal guidelines to slow the spread of the virus and to “flatten the curve” of the spread.

All area governmental offices are closed to the public and churches are holding their services via videos, both live-streamed and posted on social media and websites.

Some area businesses remain open to the public, but several are meeting customers in their parking lots to keep contact to a minimum per Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Minnesota Department of Health guidelines.

Hospitals and senior care/assisted living centers are limiting, and in some cases not allowing, visitors and asking that non-essential procedures be rescheduled to allow staff to handle the growing number of cases.

Local governments are working out the best methods to keep the business of city operations moving forward through teleconferencing and online meetings.

Public safety protocols for police, fire and first response teams have been revised to deal with more calls. The public is urged to check in on their neighbors via phone, email or text, and not in person visits.

Some grocery stores, including Reed’s Market, are working diligently to sterilize their stores after closing and are requesting that healthy customers avoid shopping during their opening hours in an effort to allow those most at-risk with underlying health issues and immune-compromised to shop in the best conditions possible.

Restaurants statewide were closed at 5:00 pm on March 17th though many continue to provide curbside/takeout services.

The economic ripples and long term effects from CV-19 will be significant, but people wishing to continue their support for local businesses are encouraged to purchase gift certificates that can be used at a later date.

Keeping coverage up to date with a local weekly paper is nearly impossible. In order to provide up to the minute information with the rapidly changing pandemic guidelines and numbers of those affected, please check our list of COVID-19 resources:

COVID-19 Resources
U.S. Center for Desease Control (CDC)
www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/home/

Minnesota Dept. of Health
www.health.state.mn.us/#coronavirus
www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/index.html

World Health Organization
who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

OSHA
https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/covid-19/

US Dept. of Education
www.ed.gov/coronavirus

Crow Wing County
crowwing.us/1582/COVID-19-Coronavirus-Information

US Chamber of Commerce
www.mnchamber.com/blog/your-business-covid-19-ready


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