ST. PAUL (LEARFIELD) - State officials say the weekly number of new COVID-19 deaths as a percentage of Minnesota's population is dropping. "We think this has been influenced in part by the progress that we've reported on in control of the outbreaks in some of the congregate care settings," said State Health Commissioner Jan Malcom on Monday. Malcolm adds that cases are also skewing younger, meaning a higher proportion of those hospitalized do *not* need I-C-U care. But officials caution that young people can spread COVID to those who won't do as well fighting the disease.
FARGO, NORTH DAKOTA (LEARFIELD) -- A Minnesota man has spent some time in jail after fighting with Fargo police Friday. Officers say they found 40-year-old Justin Bruce passed out in a parked car. When he was awakened, officers say he refused to get out of his vehicle. Then, when they pulled him out, he’s accused of resisting. The Granite Falls man is charged with preventing arrest, drug possession and possession of drug paraphernalia. No one was injured in the fight.
ST. PAUL (LEARFIELD) -- Minnesota’s governor is expected to call the Legislature into a special session Friday. Speaker of the House Melissa Hortman confirmed the information in an email she sent to House members and staff. If it is called, the session will convene next Monday. Minnesota lawmakers discussed police reform and accountability during another special session last month. They also talked about COVID-19 resources and a bonding bill.
ST. PAUL (LEARFIELD) -- After taking a day off Saturday from reporting COVID-19 numbers, the Minnesota Department of Health reported just over 500 more confirmed cases of COVID-19 and attributed five more deaths to the virus Sunday. All five deaths were in long term care facilities. Fewer than three-hundred-twenty people outside of long term care settings have died from COVID-19 in Minnesota. Over the seven day period ending Saturday, there were 41 total deaths in the state. With over 14-thousand more completed tests over the weekend, the state's case positive rate for COVID-19 since testing began in late January continues to [...]
WASHINGTON (LEARFIELD) -- The Democratic-controlled U-S House passed an infrastructure package aimed at improving infrastructure, roads and bridges and creating millions of jobs. But Minnesota Congressman Collin Peterson voted against the Moving Forward Act Wednesday. Peterson complains that it was bogged down by unrelated spending we cannot afford. The Seventh District Democrat said he's "disappointed partisan politics and a one-sided process have stalled out a desperately needed infrastructure package." He says he's hopeful Senate negotiations will yield a more balanced approach.
ST. PAUL (LEARFIELD) – Gov. Tim Walz said he was surprised by news of a lawsuit filed by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufactures of America (PHaRMA) over the Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act, which went into effect yesterday. PHaRMA claims the act is unconstitutional. "I have to be honest they did something I didn't think was possible. They're more hated than COVID-19," said Walz. "How do you do this? How do you decide to be so awful?" The state law guarantees access to affordable insulin to people who can not afford it. Walz says despite the lawsuit, the act is the [...]
MARSHALL (KMHL) – Local health officials say contact tracing is an important step to slowing the spread of COVID-19. In a press release from Southwest Health and Human Services, officials say tracing the disease is a control measure and a patient support system used by Public Health to help fight the spread of the virus. "Contact tracing is just one step in mitigating the effects of this virus," said Southwest Health and Human Services Public Health Director, Carol Biren. "We need the communities' help. We can do a better job notifying those who may have been exposed if we get accurate [...]
ST. PAUL (LEARFIELD) -- Former Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty supports mask wearing in public. Pawlenty tweeted today that "wearing masks indoors/close quarters clearly helps prevent virus spread. In our sadly divided country, let’s at least show we care enough about each other to wear our masks in crowded places." Wearing masks indoors/close quarters clearly helps prevent virus spread. Freedom without responsibility doesn’t last. In our sadly divided country, let’s at least show we care enough about each other to wear our masks in crowded places. — Tim Pawlenty (@TimPawlenty) June 30, 2020 Governor Tim Walz said a statewide mask wearing mandate [...]
MARSHALL (KMHL) – Frustration is growing in the public over the unknowns around COVID-19. One day there's a report saying those who have the virus but are asymptomatic can spread it, the next day there's a report that says they can't. One day, face masks prevent the virus, the next day they don't, and there is a lot that remains unknown about why the virus affects people so differently. Avera Marshall Chief Medical Officer Dr. Steven Meister admits there is a lot the medical community doesn't know about COVID-19, and he says there are some things that will just take time [...]
ST. PAUL (LEARFIELD) - It looks like there will be another special session probably next week, to give the Minnesota Legislature another chance to weigh-in on a likely extension of Governor Tim Walz's COVID emergency powers. "I think the date we would probably be looking at is the 10th or so of July," said Walz. The first special session adjourned 10 days ago with no agreement on police reform, a bonding bill and other issues.