Council discusses COVID and summer events

Water Carnival photo courtesy of the Bemidji Jaycees

The Bemidji City Council discussed at length some of the challenges of predicting the future as the summer event season looms with the novel coronavirus pandemic still a factor.

Organizations such as the Bemidji Jaycees and Rotary Club are planning events such as Water Carnival and the Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival in hopes that the area will have a low positivity rate and a high vaccination rate among residents.

While no formal action was taken during the work session Monday night, health professionals such as Dr. David Wilcox, the Chief Medical Officer at Sanford Bemidji, says vaccinating enough people to reach herd immunity is quite challenging.

As of Monday, around 34 percent of Beltrami County’s population had been vaccinated for COVID-19, with most national health professionals stating that 70 percent vaccination among a population is enough for herd immunity.

City staff, on the other hand, expressed some concerns about liability, and event organizers will likely need a solid COVID preparedness plan, with flexibility in case an outbreak of COVID hits the area.

The author is an active member of the Bemidji Jaycees.


Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers events and issues in north central Minnesota, which include local government, crime, courts, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University and received her degree in 2018. Larissa, native to the great state of New York, grew up in Bemidji, and enjoys spending her spare time with her family and pet cat. She also loves Star Trek, punk rock music and the theater.


© 2020 HBI Radio Bemidji, LLC d/b/a Paul Bunyan Broadcasting 502 Beltrami Ave NW, Bemidji, MN 56601 This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area