--As the spread of COVID-19 skyrockets across the state and hospitals voice concern about ability to treat those who fall ill, Governor Tim Walz announced last night new actions to help control the spread of the virus. Turning the dial back, Governor Walz announced a four-week pause on social activities, in-person dining, sports, and fitness establishments. Governor Walz Press Office. Beginning Friday night at 11:59pm and lasting until Friday, December 18, in-person social gatherings with individuals outside your household are prohibited; bars and restaurants are dialed back to take-out and delivery service only; gyms, fitness studios, entertainment venues (bowling alleys, movie theaters, bingo halls, event spaces, and similar establishments will need to close; and adult and youth sports are paused which include high school volleyball and footballs pausing after tomorrow night and winter sports to wait until pause time is completed to resume or start. Retail businesses, salons, and places of worship may continue to operate with proper precautions in place. Childcare remains open. Schools will continue to operate under the Safe Learning Plan, which shifts between in-person, distance, and hybrid learning depending on the local conditions of the virus. All other current restrictions also remain in effect. The pandemic has reached a concerning and dangerous phase throughout much of the Midwest this November. It took 29 weeks to reach 100,000 infections in Minnesota, and just six weeks after that to reach 200,000. Sometime next week, less than three weeks after reaching 200,000 infections, Minnesota will reach 300,000 infections. Last week, Governor Walz explained that public health measures are targeting who, when, and where the virus is spreading. With community spread at an all-time high, the who is all of us; the when is all of the time; and today’s actions focus on the where. To support small businesses that are struggling as they do their part to combat the spread of COVID-19, last week Governor Walz announced an additional $10 million in Small Business Relief Grants. This funding will support an additional 1,000 businesses that have applied for the grant program. It supplements hundreds of millions of dollars in small business support that Minnesota has allocated since the beginning of the pandemic. Executive Order 20-99 will have the full force and effect of law upon the approval of the Executive Council. Again this goes into effect 11:59pm tomorrow night to dial back on COVID-19.
--The Morrison County website Wednesday reported 1,508 cases of COVID since testing began, 395 active cases, 95 hospitalized since testing began. Little Falls is at 112 cases, Pierz is at 110 cases, Royalton 43, Motley 34, Hillman 24, Bowlus 15, Swanville 14, Cushing at 11 and Randall at 10 cases on Wednesday's report. There were on the state website 5,102 new cases Wednesday and 67 newly reported deaths linked to COVID-19. County new cases were 44 in Benton, 81 in Crow Wing, 28 in Mille Lacs, Stearns 203 cases, Todd 23 and Morrison County reported 20 confirmed and 6 probable cases.
--Once again, Little Falls Community Schools will be offering food for all students who have now entered into Distance Learning. All buildings will have 3 breakfasts & 3 lunches available for pick up from 7am to 1pm starting on Monday, November 23rd, weekly meals will be available to pick up from each of the schools as well as Cushing, Swanville, Sobieski, Fort Ripley, Freedhem, Bowlus & Grace Covenant Church. If you participated in this before, there is no need to register. Please contact Michelle Carll at (320) 632-2029 if you need to register for the food programs starting on Monday for LF Schools.
--Today is the Minnesota Give to the Max day. GiveMN aims to raise millions of dollars for nearly 6,000 nonprofit charities particularly organizations heavily impacted by the pandemic or run by people of color across Minnesota as part of the 12th annual Give to the Max Day. Last year, Give to the Max raised a record $21.7 million for nonprofits and schools. GiveMN has already raised $20 million this year before Give to the Max Day. More than $5.1 million was raised through their #GiveAtHomeMN fundraising campaign at the beginning of the pandemic last spring, and another $9 million after the death of George Floyd in May. There are many local charities and non profits, private schools, arts center, attractions, churches and others that you can donate to today for Give to the Max Day in Minnesota by going to the website givemn.org.
--Governor Tim Walz and The Minnesota Department of Health as asking Minnesotans if at all possible to stay home or very close to home with families and not to travel out for Thanksgiving this year in helping keep the virus numbers down in Minnesota.
--The Morrison County United Way and Moment's Hospice are hosting a Pack the Trailer Event next Monday at Coborn's Marketplace in Little Falls from 3-6pm. They will also be hosting events in in Waite Park, St. Cloud and Sartell next Tuesday and Wednesday. They are accepting personal care items, non perishable food items, winter wear-adults, infant and childrens items, winter wear for children, to give to families in need and local food shelves. You can also donate virtually for the event. For more information on what and how to donate the items contact KarlaJoCarr@momentshospice.com.
--Due to recent cases of COVID-19 among students and staff at the St. Francis Music Center and restrictions in place they have decided for now to postone their virtual concert that was next week.
--A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and Charlie Brown Christmas will now air on Public Broadcasting after Apple TV gave in to PBS to air the specials on November 22nd and December 13th, check PBS channels.
--Sylvan F. Grams, age 75 of Swanville.
--Aurilla Cimenski, age 92 of Royalton.
--Terry L. Harris, age 53 of Foley.
TODAY= fog early, then sunny and mild, high near 50.
TONIGHT= cloudy, few rain showers early, fog overnight, low 28.
FRIDAY= becoming sunny, cooler and breezy, high 34, low 16.
SATURDAY= sunny skies, high 40, snow late night, low 26.
SUNDAY= snow likely before noon, then cloudy, high 33, low 20.
HS= following the announcement from Governor Walz many volleyball and football team have moved around games for tonight and Friday before the pause on sports on Saturday so sports schedules will look very different in the next 48 hours. Listen to Al Windsperger on Little Falls Radio for latest sports information.
HS FB= Pierz will now face Albany in section finals for final game of season at Sauk Centre on Friday night at 6pm on FM94 KFML.
NFL= Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks tonight 7pm on KLTF.
NFL= Vikings host Dallas with no fans Sunday 3:25pm on KLTF.