In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the state of Minnesota is adding an additional MnSure enrollment period. "The special enrollment period starts this Monday and continues until April 21st," said Governor Tim Walz. "This is also an example of why it's great to have our own state exchange." More information about the program is available at MnSure.org
The Minnesota Department of Health says there are now 115 positive cases of COVID-19. Kris Ehresman is the infectious disease director of the Minnesota Department of Health. She emphasizes the numbers only say so much. "While we want to be transparent about data on counties where cases reside, " said Ehresman. "This should not be construed to mean that counties that do not have cases are safe or that the 115 cases reported represent the absolute number of cases in our state. Since we have evidence of community spread, it means the virus is circulating in all of our communities." There [...]
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has not considered a shelter in place order for Minnesota residents……………yet. "At this point in time, I'm prepared to do that," said Walz. "But if it becomes necessary with the data and where we're at, I am prepared to do that." Walz says determining whether or not to do so will be based on the best data available at that time. "Do I wish there was a checklist which said if this, this and this happens, we shelter in place? Yes," said Walz. "But we don't have that. We're not in the business of hoping, we're in [...]
Kris Ehresman with the Minnesota Department of Health is inviting all persons to "come to the middle" when it comes to COVID-19. "We have individuals who are absolutely panicked about COVID-19," said Ehresman. "And while we want people to take this seriously, I think it's helpful and important to let people know the vast majority of coronavirus cases worldwide have been mild. We're concerned about people's mental health. On the other end of the spectrum, we're hearing from people who don't think it's a real problem and that's a concern as well. Those people need to get the message that it's [...]
The New Ulm Police Department has released details of an accident, which closed Highway 14 for an hour (Thursday) morning. Authorities say shortly before ten-30, a vehicle driven by 68-year-old Loren Yates was pulling a farm cultivator that measured 17 feet, three inches tall and overhead communication utility lines were 16 feet above the ground. Police say Yates did not receive an over height permit. They say he was traveling westbound on Seventh North Street when the cultivator struck and pulled down the Comcast utility lines. No injuries were reported. No damage was reported but the overhead Comcast lines destroyed.
The Minnesota Department of Health says there are now seven cases of COVID-19 in the area. State officials say there were two cases confirmed in both Martin and Nicollet counties and additional cases in Blue Earth county. That is in addition to the cases confirmed in Blue Earth and Waseca counties earlier this week. Martin County Public health and human services say one person is in their 50s and another is in their 60s but did not say whether or not the cases were related to travel or community spread. Nicollet County Health and Human Services Director Cassandra Sassenberg says both [...]
The Mankato Clinic has now closed its COVID-19 testing location. Mankato Clinic representatives say they made the decision after the Minnesota Department of Health's recommendation to discontinue tests to prioritize testing supplies for hospital patients, residents in long-term care facilities and health care workers. The Department of Health is advising people to treat their symptoms at home. Clinic representatives say if persons are experiencing a fever, cough and/or shortness of breath and need medical care, to call the Mankato Clinic before coming in.
While COVID-19 is receiving most of the medical headlines, the need for blood donation remains. Leah Pockrandt is the executive director of the American Red Cross serving Southwest Minnesota. She says giving blood is a safe thing to do. "Each blood drive is very safe," said Pockrandt. "Our Red Cross Employees already follow thorough safety protocols to prevent the spread of any infection." Pockrandt says with the current situation those protocols are heightened. "We screen each donor when they come to the drive," said Pockrandt. "We take their temperature before they even put in their donor card. We also go through [...]
An Austin man was injured in a semi accident on Highway 14 in Waseca County (Wednesday) morning. The Minnesota State Patrol says shortly after eight a.m, 19-year-old Caleb Harter lost control of his semi and it rolled. Authorities say Harter was transported to the Waseca Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The accident closed Highway 14 for a brief time.
The Minnesota Department of Health put in new standards for receiving COVID-19 tests, focusing on hospitalized individuals, health care workers and those in congregate care. Minnesota Department of Health infectious disease director Kris Ehresman has a message for Minnesotans. "I really want to emphasize that the emphasis of the news should not be about the limited testing," said Ehresman. "But it needs to be about the fact that if you're not hospitalized if you're not a health care worker if you're in congregate care, the laboratory confirmation doesn't matter. It matters that you and your household stay out of the public. [...]