Newsletter: Monday, May 18th 2020

Newsletter: Monday, May 18th 2020

--Here is the complete list from Governor Tim Walz on what can be open today and what has to wait. Starting today on the first day of the Stay Safe Order: non-critical businesses like small retail shops, malls (that have CDC guidelines met can open, Mall of America waiting until June 1), household service companies like maid service can reopen, customer facing businesses must have a COVID-19 plan in place and is recommended to wear masks. What is not open, bars, restaurants, hair salons and barber shops are asked to wait until June 1st to open with public safety guidelines in place. Restaurants can still do drive up, takeout or delivery, salons can sell products but can't do any person to person services (haircuts, shaves, manicures, pedicures etc.). State Parks, recreation areas and trails are open, some remote campsites are open but for now public campgrounds remain closed. Public water access points, marinas, golf courses, driving ranges, gun ranges and game farms, docks and boat installers, bait and tackle shops, watercraft sales and showrooms, off highway vehicle shops and repairs, guided activities as long as one one one or two people only, outdoor sports and practices are allowed if they do no require a group gathering, youth summer day programming again under 10 people and no overnight camping. These are ask by Governor Walz not to open yet due to social distancing guidelines- mini golf courses, swimming pools, outdoor racetracks and concert venues. Government agencies have been told they can reopen today if so desire or wait that the governor is leaving City Halls, offices and county agencies to make their own decision on this, he also announced that the extension for Driver's Licenese renewals has been extended with the Peacetime Emergency going to June 12th those with expired driver's licenses have until August 12th, but tabs and registrations have to be taken care of on time and can be done online or by calling the DMV which have staff on hand. Group gatherings of 10 people or less are alllowed that also includes drive-up gatherings like what is being done for Graduations in the coming days for are our area schools, commercial activity from businesses outside again in small groups and if possible drive-up fashion. What is not allowed still is larger gatherings like social, civic, community functions, faith services and church offerings of over 10 people (smaller weddings, funeral and graveside services of 10 people or less are allowed), sporting and lesiure events remain cancelled, concerts and performances are asked to be postponed at this time, conventions, fundraisers, parades, fairs and festivals are asked to be put on hold until the Stay Safe Order is lifted by Governor Walz.

--The Little Falls Fire Department responded to several incidents last Thursday and Friday. Thursday at 8:18am a reported gas leak at Little Falls Wasterwater Plant, firefighters checked the building no leak was found. 10:30am Thursday a fire at Fletcher Trucking on Business Highway 371 south of Brainerd. Little Falls assisted Brainerd with shuttling water to the scene, there was damage to the facility but Little Falls did not have a damage estimate. Then at 4:34pm firefighters responded to a fire at 819 Lindbergh Drive South it was a microwave that caught on fire, reportedly a police officer helped the resident before firefighters arrived and it was put out. Friday around 3:46pm firefighters responed to a pickup on fire on Highway 371 north of County Road 46. The truck and the trailer it was towing was extinguished in about an hour, the fire did extensive damage to the truck and trailer. No injures were reported in any of the incidents.

--The Minnesota Department of Health reported there are 25 positive COVID-19 case in Morrison County, Sunday. No person has needed hospitalization at this point. Thus far, two teens, four people in their 20s, four in their 30s, nine in their 40s, three in their 50s and three residents in their 60s have tested positive for the virus. CHI St. Gabriel’s Hospital is averaging 15 tests per day. That average over one week is just over 100 tests for a county populated by more than 33,000 people. Information regarding patient symptoms or status, location and other testing statistics have been stated that they will not be released from Morrison County Public Health.

--With the Stay at Home order being lifted by Governor Tim Walz beginning today the Morrison County Government Center is working to finalize the plans to open the doors on Tuesday, May 26th (the day after Memorial Day). Throughout the Government Center, various services and specific departments will again be offered in person, however, they will likely look different. Information continues to be shared from State and Federal agencies as to what is allowed and how service must be provided. Morrison County is working to respond as best as possible to the changing information and will communicate out specifics to the public next week as to how business must be conducted and how we can best serve residents in person if needed. Little Falls City Administrator stated Friday, they are preparing the building to protect residents and staff and keep the building as safe as possible for all so for Council Meetings will still be remote until the orders change and the safety measures can be put in place. Staff will have access to their facilities, and staff that can work from home will be allowed to do so. Emergency personnel will be working, and you are encouraged to call those departments if you have non-emergency concerns. If you have an emergency, please dial 911. Prescription medication collection will be suspended until further notice. The city will be waiving late fees on utility bills due June 5th. Furthermore, there are multiple payment options that allow you to pay without coming into City Hall including the payment drop boxes.

--Annika Chambers of Randall, was recently named one of Minnesota Connections Academy’s (MNCA) Students of the Month in recognition of her achievements and leadership in the virtual classroom. Annika, a third grader at the statewide online school, was nominated by her teacher in recognition of her hard work and positive attitude.

--In coordination with Minnesota Department of Health, twenty-one members of the Minnesota National Guard will start actioning Governor Tim Walz's plan to increase testing throughout the state by using mobile testing teams at long-term care facilities. This mobile testing is part of the Five-Point Plan laid out by the Governor to combat COVID-19 in Minnesota's long-term care facilities. This testing is designed to reduce the spread by identifying those that are infected so they can be isolated to decrease the risk of spread in these facilities of greatest concern.

--Erik Morley Parsons, age 37 of Isle.
--Marvin T. Dorn, age 91 of Pierz.
--Rev. Roland Jennings, age 89 of Little Falls.

TODAY= sunny and windy, high 70, clear night, low 46.
TUESDAY= sunny skies, not as windy, high 72, low around 45.
WEDNESDAY= partly cloudy skies, high 76, low around 50.