COVID-19 numbers down, vaccinating underway

Sanford Health Bemidji gave a report to the Bemidji City Council, and they say COVID-19 numbers are down dramatically from where they were two months ago.

Sanford Bemidji’s chief medical officer Dr. David Wilcox said there were 32 COVID hospitalizations for the entire month of January, compared to 118 in November.

Wilcox also emphasized the importance of getting as many people vaccinated as possible and the vaccine risks are minimal.

Sanford and other vaccine providers reportedly receive very little notice on how many vaccines will be delivered during any given week, and presenters to the council highlighted the planning difficulties associated with administering as many vaccines as quickly as possible to ensure continued vaccine deliveries from the state.

The Walz administration is requiring vaccine clinics to administer 95 percent of the vaccines received within three days upon receipt, with the other five percent due to be administered within a week.

The Bemidji City Council, in other business, discussed:

  • Sanford Center bills of over $70,000, which includes one month of VenuWorks’ management fee of about $10,000. Council members Ron Johnson and Audrey Thayer voted against paying the bills, with the other four members of the council voting to pay them.
  • Bemidji Steel plans to move part of its operation to a Hubbard County location on Highway 71 near Hill’s Country Greenhouse. Bemidji Steel has received some of the city’s revolving loan funds in the past, and council member Nancy Erickson discussed potentially requiring Bemidji Steel to pay those loans back to the city.

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.


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