Situation Update for Thursday, April 30

Posted at 11:12 a.m. Last updated at 3:14 p.m.

This article will be updated as more information becomes available.

STATE UPDATES

Gov. Tim Walz is extended the Stay at Home order but rolled back some restrictions on small businesses. Starting Monday, all customer-facing retailers that sell, rent or maintain goods will be allowed to start offering curbside service Monday. Read more about it here. The address in entirety is available on the Governor’s YouTube channel.

MDH confirmed today an additional 24 deaths from COVID-19 and an additional 492 cases. To date, over 70,000 tests have been completed, with 4,136 positive cases and 343 deaths. Over 2,100 patients have recovered to the point they no longer need to be isolated. There are 365 Minnesotans hospitalized as of today, with 130 in the ICU, an increase of 21 ICU patients since yesterday.

MINNESOTA LEGISLATURE

The Minnesota Senate is expected to pass an economic relief package today. The bill would delay some tax payments and waive penalties, plus expand tax credits for families with school children, charitable contributions and investments in small businesses. The bill would defer an estimated $1 billion in state revenue. DFLers in the House of Representatives are working on their own package.

u.s. attorney’s office

U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota Erica MacDonald announced yesterday that the office is reaffirming its commitment under the Fair Housing Act to combat sexual harassment in housing.

Many Americans have lost their jobs, have been furloughed or have seen a drastic reduction in their wages. Many have not been able to pay rent as a result. There have been reports of landlords who have responded to requests to defer rent payments with demands for sexual favors and other acts of unwelcome sexual conduct. Such behavior is illegal under the Fair Housing Act, which prohibits discrimination in housing on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, familial status, national origin and disability. Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination.

“Sexual harassment by landlords, property managers, maintenance workers, and others may constitute a violation of the federal Fair Housing Act. Such behavior is despicable and it is illegal,” said U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald.

“The U.S. Attorney’s Office stands ready to investigate complaints of sexual harassment in housing and to deploy all available enforcement tools against anyone who engages in this behavior. This behavior is not tolerated in normal times, and certainly, will not be tolerated now.”

If you think you are a victim of sexual harassment by a landlord, or other person who has control over housing, resulting from the COVID-19 crisis, contact the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division at (800) 896-7743 or fairhousing@usdoj.gov. Or, contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office at (612) 664-5600 or USAMN.Outreach@usdoj.gov.

LOCAL UPDATES

MDH today confirmed Beltrami County at six cases of COVID-19, Itasca and Cass Counties at five cases each, and Clearwater County at two cases.

Nearby Polk County has 26 cases. Becker and Mahnomen Counties each have two cases, and Koochiching, Pennington and Roseau Counties each have one case.

As Minnesota’s plan to ramp up testing to all COVID-19 symptomatic Minnesotans, Sanford Health of Northern Minnesota has laid out a plan for those suffering symptoms of COVID-19 (cough, fever, body aches, shortness of breath) and/or exposure to someone known to have COVID-19 to get tested. These patients still need to contact their primary care doctor, or contact their walk-in clinic, for an over-the-phone or virtual visit. Patients need a doctor’s note to get tested at one of the alternative testing sites, where patients will remain in their cars for the duration of the test. Read more about it here.

The 14th Annual Moondance Jammin Country concert, previously scheduled for mid-June, has been postponed until 2021. Organizers have tentatively set a date for June 24-26, 2021, but are gathering surveys until May 3. Read more about it here.

ITASCA COUNTY

The Essentia Health hospitals and clinics in Deer River and Grand Rapids are still open, but certain appointments may be appropriate for e-visits.

Anyone with questions on accessing their appointments are encouraged to call them ahead of time. Visits for anxiety, depression, diabetes and certain follow up appointments and surgery consults may be appropriate for electronic means, but patients may still attend an appointment in person.

Anyone arriving at the emergency room for severe respiratory concerns or fevers are asked to mask and make this known immediately upon arrival.

 


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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