MARSHALL (KMHL) – During the COVID-19 pandemic there appears to be an issue between local nurses and Avera Marshall over staffing and scheduling. Local nurses, the Minnesota Nurses Association and the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees unions are upset with Avera Marshall and CEO Mary Maertens regarding scheduling and staffing issues at the hospital. The unions and local nurses jointly sent a letter to Avera CEO Bob Sutton earlier this month expressing their frustrations. Avera-Marshall nurse Melissa Louwagie tells Marshall Radio the hospital has been violating their contracts because they are not getting their schedules in a timely [...]
ST. PAUL (LEARFIELD) -- A new survey of Minnesota teachers finds distance learning is the most popular choice for public schools in the fall. Forty-nine-percent of respondents in the Education Minnesota survey said they preferred distance learning, 29 percent prefer hybrid classes while 17 percent favor a return to in-person classes. More than 20-thousand members of the teachers union took part in the survey July 16th through 20th. A group of teachers marched to the Governor's Residence yesterday calling for continued distance-learning this fall unless disease-prevention measures inside schools dramatically improve.
MARSHALL (KMHL) – Local health officials believe we are seeing a sharp rise in the amount of COVID-19 cases in the area. According to a press release, from Avera Marshall, recent local testing is showing a significant increase in the amount of positive cases. Avera says in testing events held in Tyler and Marshall between July 8th and 17th there have been 93 positive cases identified between the two sites over the 10 day period. "We saw a sharp rise in testing at the Avera Marshall collection site during this timeframe with a number of people coming from the Lincoln County area," [...]
MINNEAPOLIS (LEARFIELD) - As mask mandates are becoming the norm...one expert heavily cited during the COVID-19 pandemic says we should not be over-confident in the protection offered by masks. On his weekly COVID-19 podcast the U-of-M's Dr. Michael Osterholm says he does still favor wearing a face covering. "Also be mindful that we don't know how well they work, and there are reasons to challenge that they may work real well," said Osterholm. "Therefore, it's still about distancing, distancing and distancing." Of the C-D-C's initial recommendation on face coverings, Osterholm said it was published without a single scientific paper or other [...]
ST. PAUL (LEARFIELD) - Governor Tim Walz is expected to announce his decision later today (2pm) about a possible statewide mask mandate amid COVID-19. "Getting people to buy in to wearing the mask is what you're trying to do," said Gov. Walz. "The mandate is not to punish people, it's to put the emphasis behind doing that." Walz praised the president for a recent tweet indicating that to wear a mask was patriotic. "What I have said, is if the President wears a mask, you will instantly see 10 percent of the public go up and do this," said Walz. Several [...]
TYLER (KMHL) – Early results from a mass testing event in the Tyler area last week are showing a positivity rate of around 3.9 percent. Health officials reported yesterday that a total of 385 samples had been processed as of yesterday afternoon, of those 15 had tested positive – for a total positivity rate of about 3.9 percent. A total of 411 samples were collected during the testing event which was held last Wednesday. Of those who have tested positive, officials say 5 were completely asymptomatic.
ST. PAUL (LEARFIELD) - Let each school district decide whether students are back in the classroom this fall or continue distance-learning -- the message from the Republican-controlled state Senate as Governor Tim Walz considers options under his emergency powers. Sen. Carla Nelson (R-Rochester) says the decision belongs with locally-elected school officials. "Who know their students, their staff, the teachers, the parents, the community and their resources best," said Nelson. Sen. Karla Bigham (D-Cottage Grove) responds Senate Republicans haven't had any hearings on the issue. "We have no idea what are the repercussions if, god forbid, there's an outbreak in a school," [...]
ST. PAUL (LEARFIELD) - State officials are preparing Minnesotans for what they predict will be another surge in COVID-19 cases, following what's happened in some other states. Epidemiologist Kris Ehresmann (AIRZ-man) says the state Health Department has started to see an increase in COVID cases related to bars and other establishments. "We saw it in Mankato, we saw it in the Twin Cities, we'll see it next in St. Cloud, and then in Duluth and then in Bemidji," said Ehresmann. "The pattern completely followed." Ehresmann says it's "extremely likely" that COVID hospitalizations and I-C-U cases will increase in the coming weeks.
MARSHALL (KMHL) – Lyon County’s death toll from COVID-19 is now 3. The Minnesota Department of Health announced that a person from Lyon County was one of seven people who died from the virus on Friday. Specific details on the person are not available, but local health officials confirmed the person was in their 80s and lived in a private residence. Statewide, of the 7 deaths in Minnesota that were reported on Friday, 4 of them occurred in long term care facilities.
MARSHALL (KMHL) – Strong winds along with a severe thunderstorm cut through Marshall early Saturday morning knocking down branches and causing some damage. The National Weather Service reports that in at least one spot in Marshall a large tree limb fell on a car and caused damage. Weather officials say a wind gust of 51 miles per hour was measure shortly after 1:30 Saturday morning. There was a 68 mile per hour wind gust reported in Marietta, near the Minnesota-South Dakota border. Hanley Falls reported a 55 mile per hour wind gust and Granite Falls reported a 52 mile per hour [...]