By Teri Knight, News Director
“We all need to understand that this emergency, this pandemic, is very different from anything we’ve experienced before. It is not like a river flooding, it is not like a tornado. The city’s responsibilities are extremely different than they have been in the past”… Northfield Police Chief Monte Nelson beginning his update on coronavirus response to the council last night. He said, “we need to start normalizing the conversation that this is not going to be weeks, this is going to be months that we’re dealing with this. How long? I’m not going to speculate like some people have. We don’t know”. He added, “and none of that is to panic. The thing we need to remember, and I think the
important message from city staff and the council is that, as a community, we will get through this by working together”. City services are essential to take care of first. Tornadoes and floods affected a portion of the community, this affects everyone. He said the public needs to take this seriously and adhere to the recommendations from the MN Dept. of Health and the Centers for Disease Control. KYMN has direct links to them as well other fact-based websites HERE. He also implored people to please stop hoarding. Consider what and how you’re buying as it could have negative effects on vulnerable people. The Chief saw it first hand here.
City leaders work to prioritize City Services and Declare State of Emergency
The Northfield Council approved a resolution declaring a State of Emergency last night in order to, at some later point, be able to qualify for State and Federal dollars. Nelson said the communicators will be Communications Director Michelle Mahowald, Administrator Ben Martig, Mayor Rhonda Pownell and, of course, the Chief and Deputy Chief Mark Elliott. Martig and Pownell were in studio this morning with an update on the entire meeting. That interview is HERE. If you have questions about city services, CALL City Hall before dropping by. They are implementing the CDC guidelines of physical distancing, that includes the DMV. The City is working hand in hand with a number of other local organizations including Northfield Hosp. and Clinics, CAC, HCI to name a few. NH&C CEO, Steve Underdahl will be on the phone with Jeff Johnson tomorrow morning beginning at 8:45.
COVID testing kits limited – quelling rumors
As was just announced yesterday afternoon by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH),due to a national shortage of COVID-19 testing materials, the state is forced to make adjustments to its testing criteria. Those who are hospitalized patients, Health care workers and those in congregate living settings such as long-term care will be given high priority. We have complete details on our Community News page on kymnradio.net. Chief Nelson said last night we need to assume the coronavirus is in our community regardless of any testing. While we’ve seen a reduction in positive test results, Chief Nelson said, “we need to understand that’s being affected by the fact that a lot of tests aren’t even being run”. While people are being swabbed, those “swabs” are not being tested. If you only test 50 of the 100 swabs taken, he said, “you’re only getting test results on those 50”. Nelson emphasized that coronavirus is spreading and it’s important, again, to normalize the conversation that this will be months not weeks.