Bemidji News | COVID-19 | Health

Resolution asking Walz to open up rural MN fails to pass

County Board

The Beltrami County Board of Commissioners met, in some sense of the word, Tuesday for their regular meetings.

The Zoom conference the county used was hacked then they immediately closed the meeting to the public.

Commissioner Reed Olson streamed most of the meeting on his Facebook page, and the video is still available there.

During the regular meeting, a controversial resolution barely made it on the agenda, after commissioners voted 3-2 to allow an amended agenda.

This resolution encouraged Gov. Tim Walz to reconsider his executive orders for rural Minnesota, as there is not much evidence of community spread outside of the metro area.

That resolution did not pass, as commissioners Olson, Sumner and Anderson voted against it.

Commissioner Richard Anderson, during the discussion of the vote, said he called township leaders and business owners within his district to hear their thoughts. He estimated about 60 percent were against reopening, even for restaurants and resorts, who have been economically affected by the executive orders.

Commissioner Craig Gaasvig, who introduced the last-minute resolution, responded Anderson must be a “glutton for punishment” for opening himself up to comments and questions from constituents.

Sanford Health provided an update on the COVID-19 situation during the work session prior to the vote in the regular meeting, and Dr. David Wilcox, chief medical officer for Sanford Bemidji, had this to say about opening too early before our area has built up any immunity.