COVID-19 variant found in Minnesota

January 13, 2021

The Minnesota Depart-ment of Health (MDH) today announced the new variant strain of the SARS-CoV-2 virus first detected in the United Kingdom was identified by genomic sequencing in positive specimens from five residents of four different counties in the Twin Cities metro area. Four of the cases were identified through the MDH Public Health Laboratory,…

County to get more COVID grant funding

January 13, 2021

By Anna Jauhola Businesses in Kittson County have another chance to receive grants to help cover costs incurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the middle of December, the Minnesota Legislature passed a $216 million relief package that included $88 million for certain businesses that sustained losses of 30 percent or greater. The Department of…

Vaccine rollout successful, continues in Kittson County

January 11, 2021

By Anna Jauhola About 100 healthcare workers in Kittson County received the Pfizer vaccine last week to protect against COVID-19. “Pretty much everybody had a good response,” said Cindy Urbaniak, public health director. “There were a few side effects — maybe a headache, sore arm was probably the most common side effect we heard about,…

Eleven new COVID-19 testing sites to open across Minnesota, including one in Crookston

November 20, 2020

Crookston, Minn. — In order to expand access to free, “no barrier” COVID-19 testing, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has announced 11 new longer-term COVID-19 testing sites will open across Minnesota in the coming weeks. Testing at the Crookston National Guard Armory, 1801 University Avenue opened Monday, Nov. 16. Pre-registration is requested to avoid long…

Hospitals prepared for COVID-19 surge

November 12, 2020

Health officials urge public to follow precautions and to celebrate safely By Anna Jauhola Hospitals in the northwest corner of Minnesota are working together and are prepared to handle COVID-19 patients, according to officials. Kittson Healthcare in Hallock is a member of the Northwest Regional Emergency Preparedness Group, which comprises all hospitals in the northwest…

As Hospitals Express Capacity Concerns, Governor Walz Announces New COVID-19 Restrictions

November 10, 2020

[ST. PAUL, MN] – As hospitals express concern about capacity to treat Minnesotans with COVID-19, Governor Tim Walz today announced new restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the virus in Minnesota. Beginning on Friday, the restrictions will apply to social gatherings, celebrations and receptions, and bars and restaurants, which are three of the most…

Cases up, schools still in house, public urged to be careful

October 31, 2020

By Anna Jauhola As positive COVID-19 cases rise in Kittson County, school and health officials are working to ensure public safety. As of Monday afternoon, Oct. 26, Kittson County’s total case count was 51, and active cases had increased to 25, according to Kittson County Public Health. Superintendents at Kittson Central and Lancaster schools continue…

Pilot COVID-19 saliva at-home test includes Kittson County

October 28, 2020

Minnesota Department of Health announced Thursday, Oct. 22, a pilot of the COVID-19 Test at Home saliva program. Minnesotans in two dozen counties or tribal nations will be able to order a saliva test online, to perform in the comfort of their own home. These tests are available in select service areas free of charge…

Get tested if you have COVID-19 symptoms

October 23, 2020

By Andrea Swenson, RN, director of clinic nursing and patient safety As expected, in response to an increase in positive COVID-19 cases and exposures in the area, we are beginning to see an increase in testing for COVID-19 as well. We wanted to provide some information so the public is aware about the scenarios when…

First COVID-19 case reported at area school

October 22, 2020

By Anna Jauhola Just before MEA weekend, Lancaster School reported its first positive COVID-19 case in a high school student. Superintendent Shannon Hunstad said, for privacy reasons, they are not releasing the name of the student. However, the student and a handful of close contacts were put in isolation and quarantine immediately starting Wednesday, Oct.…

SBA offers disaster assistance for impacted small businesses

March 30, 2020

ATLANTA – The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to Minnesota small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza announced last week. SBA acted under its own authority, as provided by the Coronavirus Pre-paredness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act…

Governor Walz Issues Stay at Home Order for Minnesotans

March 25, 2020

  [ST. PAUL, MN] – To slow the spread of COVID-19 across the state, Governor Tim Walz today signed Executive Order 20-20 directing Minnesotans to stay at home and limit movements outside of their home beyond essential needs. This order takes effect at 11:59pm on Friday, March 27 and ends at 5:00pm on Friday, April…

Statement From U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar

March 23, 2020

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) released the following statement regarding her husband John: “I have news that many Americans are facing right now: my husband John has the coronavirus. We just got the test results at 7 a.m. this morning. While I cannot see him and he is of course cut off…

Hallock Council approves emergency declaration

March 20, 2020

By Anna Jauhola The City of Hallock declared a state of emergency in an emergency meeting on Friday, March 20. The city council met at the city hall in the basement and spaced more than 6 feet from each other. Councilor Kevin Waller attended and voted by phone, which is allowed in emergency instances. City…

Commission totally closes courthouse to the public

March 20, 2020

By Anna Jauhola The Kittson County Board of Commissioners declared a state of emergency at an emergency meeting on Friday, March 20 in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The commissioners called into the meeting via a digital service called GoToMeeting, which is allowed for public meetings during an emergency. Alongside the emergency declaration, the commission…

Area business, entity operations during COVID-19

March 18, 2020

UPDate as of 4/1/20 Sjostrand Agency: Lobby is closed, staff is on site and available by phone 218-843-3350 or call Steve, cell 218-843-1481 or Dan, cell 218-843-1387. Area businesses and entities are affected just as much as the rest of the state as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. This list will be updated as we receive…

Minnesota State Parks and Trails: COVID-19 Response

March 18, 2020

Minnesota State Parks and Trails remain open to the public. We are closely monitoring the situation related to COVID-19 and adjusting our operations as conditions change. We recognize the importance of nature in helping to relieve stress during this time and are committed to providing a safe environment for our visitors to enjoy, while ensuring…

Covid-19 informational websites

March 18, 2020

As the COVID-19 virus unfolds in Minnesota, there are several resources that individuals can use to stay up to date on the latest information:   MDH’s COVID-19 page: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/index.html   MDH’s COVID-19 prevention tips: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/prevention.html   MDH’s COVID-19 Situation Update: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/situation.html   Mayo Clinic’s COVID-19 page: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/symptoms-causes/syc-20479963   CDC COVID-19 page: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html   CDC COVID-19…

County erring on the side of safety

March 18, 2020

Commission sets instructions for employees during COVID-19 By Anna Jauhola The Kittson County Board of Commissioners is erring on the side of safety and made a strong decision Tuesday, March 17 to keep two county employees at home, with pay. This was the main decision of the board’s initial discussions regarding pandemic planning.  The two employees…

UPDATED: Nursing homes closed to visitors amid coronavirus outbreaks

March 17, 2020

By Anna Jauhola Both nursing homes and assisted living facilities in Kittson County are now closed to visitors due to the coronavirus outbreak reaching Minnesota and nearby states. Kittson Healthcare announced restricted visitation to its residents’ families Thursday, March 12. Cindy Urbaniak, nursing home administrator, said as the coronavirus – known as COVID-19 – has reached…