By Teri Knight, News Director
Local law enforcement agencies are open on an “as necessary” basis. Rice County Sheriff Troy Dunn commented on Friday, “so if we can handle, say it was a fraud call or even a theft call, unless there’s evidence there, we might just take that over the phone to keep people safe. Not only ourselves but the public”. As for the jail, “we’re prepared in our jail if we have somebody that comes in with symptoms we can seclude them from the general population. We’re like a care facility in that we have a lot of people in a confirmed area and we do not want to have the spread of any kind of sickness throughout the jail”. The mental health issue is concerning.
They are directing people to talk to their therapist or counselor if they have one but if they don’t, reach out to his office. Before covid, all the local First Responder agencies went to the scene of all calls, saying, “now we’ve scaled back for the safety of our First Responders this is how we’re going to handle it. Doesn’t mean law enforcement is not going to respond but law enforcement might not be going in(side). If it’s a serious medical condition we’re going to go in like we always do but you’re going to see us all masked up and with our safety glasses on and stuff like that”. Whichever agency is first to arrive on a scene, they will assess the situation and see who should be the ones going inside, the rest will stage outside. His full interview is HERE. Northfield Police Chief Monte Nelson was in on Friday also. His full interview HERE.
CAC institutes new policy on Food Shelf
Community Action Center Executive Director, Scott Wopata, said over the last couple of weeks, they really thought about how they would manage the flow of the people that come into the CAC. He said, “we have a pretty amazing staff that sat down, and we have amazing community members, retired healthcare professionals that came in and we just sat down and slogged through what does it really mean to think about, not just adjusting every day to the information but to think a couple weeks ahead about how to control our environment, how to keep it safe, really with this idea of having a multi-month view of staying open to make sure people have access to some of the basics needs that we all need to survive”. One of the first things many think of with CAC is their Food Shelf, typically it’s run much like a grocery store or co-op. But now, they must think about social distancing, “someone from our staff or volunteer meets someone in outside in the parking lot, they can stay in their car. We exchange the basic information, make sure we understand who they are, so we can just work with them. They pull up and we have a very small crew of staff and volunteers inside that are basically doing the shopping or packing some boxes and bags on behalf of that person or that family and then we bring it out, it goes straight in the car” and off they go. They’re doing some home delivery. Their ability to source what they typically have has been altered. They are currently out of cleaning supplies and sanitizing items. As for toilet paper, they had a few donations but it’s getting more difficult to source them. There is much more to his interview is HERE.
Dental emergencies should call their dentist and high need for blood donors
In a press update yesterday, Kris Ehresmann of the Minnesota Department of Health called on the public to please not use the Emergency Room for dental issues. To keep people from overloading Emergency Rooms and Urgent Care, it’s important for those with a dental emergency to call their dentist. She added that they’re asking dentists to make their practice available to care for patients experiencing dental emergencies. Additionally, she highlighted the need for blood. She said, if you’re someone that’s currently at home and healthy, please consider donating blood. Contact your local blood center. If you’re healthy, call the Red Cross. You will be screened before you can donate but donated itself is safe. As of yesterday, the MDH reports 168 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Minnesota involving 28 counties, including Rice and 1 death. Ehresmann noted that there are many more that have not been tested and the actual number could be “as high as 100-fold,”adding, “I think the bottom line is that there is a lot of COVID-19 circulating in Minnesota and that’s why it’s so important that people take the community mitigation measures seriously”. KYMN has links to the Dept. of Health, local agencies and Federal agencies. Governor Walz will be joining the MDH in a press conference at 2pm. At this point he is not expected to put enact a Shelter in Place.