Situation Update for Thursday, April 9

Posted at 7:21 a.m. Updated at 11:19 a.m.

This article will be updated as more information becomes available.

STATE UPDATES

The Minnesota Department of Health said over 32,300 Minnesotans have been tested for the disease as of Thursday, April 9, with 1,242 positive cases reported, 88 more than what was reported yesterday. Fifty people have died from complications of COVID-19, 11 more than what was reported yesterday, with 63 currently in ICU. Almost 700 have recovered and have been released from isolation.

Gov. Tim Walz extended the stay at home order until 11:59 p.m. on Monday, May 4. Dine-in at restaurants and bars will be closed until then, and Walz indicated that schools are unlikely to reopen this school year.

Walz may be receptive to businesses such as landscaping and golf course maintenance to reopen as long as they can practice social distancing.

According to a release from the Governor’s office, the Governor’s order to stay home is forecasted to significantly slow the spread of COVID-19, pushing out the peak of the disease and allowing the state to continue key preparations for the pandemic.

These preparations include building new hospital capacity and buying ventilators and masks, planning for how to protect those most at risk, expanding testing, and freeing up time for health care giants like the Mayo Clinic to develop critical treatments for the virus.

According to data compiled by MPR’s David Montgomery, compared to states such as South Dakota and Wisconsin, Minnesota has far fewer cases per million residents.

South Dakota’s governor has yet to issue a shelter in place or stay at home order. Wisconsin’s governor did issue a stay at home order, but the state made headlines Tuesday when their Supreme Court ordered elections to continue as scheduled despite the pandemic.

Because of a lack of testing, all should assume there are far more cases than have been confirmed by a COVID-19 test.

UNEMPLOYMENT

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) announced yesterday that the agency received final guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor to be one of the first states to make $600 additional compensation payments to people receiving unemployment benefits.

These payments were authorized by Congress in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), which was signed into law on March 27.

“As soon as the CARES Act became law, our team at DEED got to work putting the technology in place to support these payments and ensure that we were ready to get the money to Minnesotans in need,” said Commissioner Steve Grove.

“With a record number of unemployment applications, we know this is an uncertain and challenging time for many. It was critical that we act swiftly and provide this additional compensation without delay.”

People who are currently receiving Minnesota unemployment benefits will qualify for the $600 additional compensation and will continue to receive their regular unemployment benefit.  The release states recipients will not see the additional compensation on their unemployment online portal, but will see the deposit on their bank account statements. Minnesotans seeking unemployment do not need to take any additional steps to receive this additional compensation.

LOCAL UPDATES

North central Minnesota has not had any new reported COVID-19 cases in recent days. In fact, Beltrami County is one case fewer.

Beltrami County Public Health Director Cynthia Borgen is currently investigating why the report has changed. In the past, cases have been reassigned to other counties due to inaccurate address assumptions.

As of Thursday, April 9, Beltrami County has five cases, Cass County has three cases, Clearwater County has two, Mahnomen County has one, Polk County has one case and Itasca County has two cases of the virus. Koochiching County also has one case, as does Roseau County.

FROM Ruby’s pantry

Due to the need in our community and the turn out from April 1st, Ruby’s Pantry – Clearbrook is planning to have a BONUS distribution day on Wednesday, April 22nd starting at 4pm (notice time change).

We plan to get the maximum amount of shares available. This distribution will be in addition to our regularly scheduled one on Wednesday, May 6th from 5-6:30 pm.

We are hoping to help those that truly need it, so if that is not you, please wait for our May distribution. Also, in order to maximize the amount of people we can help, we are limiting each vehicle to 1 share only. Express track shares have been disabled as well. Trying to deal with express track while outdoors is a very difficult task and therefore Ruby’s has chosen to disable it for the time being.

This will be another outdoor only event with a drive thru distribution as well. People are required to stay in their vehicles, a bathroom will not be available. There are a lot of details that make this distribution different from others. Head to countryfaith.org under ministries to see the full list of things to note or find us on Facebook for the latest details and updates.

BEMIDJI JAYCEES’ WATER CARNIVAL

The Bemidji Jaycees, in a Facebook post Wednesday, announced they are still planning to hold the 76th Annual Water Carnival, for now.

In preparations for Water Carnival, many businesses will receive the finance drive information in the mail.

“We certainly understand if some of our business partners may not be able to contribute at this time,” said the announcement. “We ask that you reach out to us if circumstances change.”

The Jaycees ultimately hope the pandemic is under control by the time the Water Carnival starts and that we will all be celebrating the 4th of July together this summer.

KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS WALLEYE CLASSIC

The Knights of Columbus Walleye Classic Committee announced the cancellation of the 2020 KC Walleye Classic fishing tournament, originally scheduled to be held June 13.

“We regret that current circumstances make producing this year’s tournament unworkable,” said Joe Czapiewski, Tournament Director.

“Our Committee has thoroughly explored its options for producing the tournament, even under potentially relaxed public health restrictions. However, our goal of holding a community celebration of fishing, especially one as big as our 20th anniversary, is just not feasible this year.”

The Committee thanks its anglers, sponsors, and beneficiaries for their continued support of this important community fundraiser.


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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