The end of September is nearly here and fall is in the air. Assistant State Climatologist Pete Boulay: "The first half(of September) was a good touch of fall and we actually had some temperatures below freezing as far south as St. Cloud. And then we had a bit of a rebound with a lot of upper 70's and 80's for the third week of September and then it looks like we're ending out the month with another round of fall." Boulay says it looks like the cooler fall temps will stick around at least another week and then we could see [...]
Health officials continue to warn of a potential "twindemic" of COVID-19 and the seasonal flu. And Minnesota Medical Association President Dr. Keith Stelter says the issue is complicated by the fact that some clinics are still waiting to receive their shipments of the flu vaccine. "In other years we might have received it by now, we have to realize as soon as we get adequate supply we have to immunize as many people as possible." In the meantime, Dr. Stelter is urging Minnesotans to wear a mask in public, wash your hands frequently and stay home if you feel sick.
The state health department is concerned about an uptick in COVID-19 clusters statewide: "As of today we've had 89 case clusters in businesses that were regulated by the Department of Agriculture. So that includes places like veggie processing plants, dairy plants, bakeries, grocery stores. We've also had 40 clusters and outbreaks in meat processing plants. 182 clusters in manufacturing plants and 246 in general businesses of all types." MDH spokeswoman Kris Ehresmann.
State health officials are seeing more COVID-19 cases among working-age Minnesotans 20 to 40 years old: "These are working-age people and it's important to note that cases associated with workplaces aren't necessarily due to spread happening in the workplace but rather it's often an employee who gets exposed outside of work and then brings it into the workplace." Kris Ehresmann with the Minnesota Department of Health says you could be exposing a colleague who could get very sick, She reminds people to socially distance, where masks in indoor gathering spaces, and stay home if you don't feel well.
A state House Committee on Racial Justice holds its second remote hearing today (1pm). The committee will discuss Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) and racism. Committee co-chair Rena Moran of St. Paul says she hopes that as lawmakers hold more hearings... "That legislators are not at the same point that they were when we had our first meeting, by the time we have our last meeting, my hope is at the minimum, more information more knowledgable, more insightful." The group's first meeting was held last week and focused on the definition of racism and maternal-child health mortality and morbidity.
Confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett are set to begin October 12th. Carleton College political analyst Steven Schier says the Republican-majority Senate... "They certainly have the votes to do it, the question is what the electoral impact will be, will it help Democrats be the offended party in this regard, or will it help republicans be the victorious party." Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham says the hearing will include a day of introduction, followed by two days of questioning. He believes the committee will send the nomination to the full Senate on October 22nd.
The Minnesota Court of Appeals has ruled that a suburban school district violated the rights of a transgender student who identified as male when it kept him from using the boys’ locker room. Jess Braverman with Gender Justice says it's a victory for transgender rights... "It' really important to us that transgender students aren't treated like problems to be solved, transgender students deserve to go to schools with dignity and be treated just like other students." The parents of the boy sued the Anoka-Hennepin School District last year, claiming the district violated his rights to equal protection under the Minnesota Human [...]
A door-to-door COVID-19 testing survey has been halted due to multiple incidents in Greater Minnesota. The Minnesota Medical Association's Dr. Keith Stelter says the workers were... "Subjected to inflammatory remarks and negative statements so that's very distressing as we're trying to understand the pandemic and its effect, especially in rural areas." The CDC pulled its federal surveyors out of Minnesota this week following reports of verbal abuse and intimidation, including an incident in the Iowa border town of Eitzen, Minnesota where a survey team walking to a house was blocked by two cars and threatened by three men, including one who [...]
The American Red Cross is in urgent need of blood donations. Already tens of thousands of people are being impacted by massive back-to-back disasters, including wildfires in the west, hurricanes and COVID-19. "As you can imagine, all of the blood drives that are in these affected areas and you see that map of the United States and you have to think all of those locations have now been canceled." Carrie Carlson-Guest with Red Cross Minnesota. For more information on donating blood, you can visit redcross.org.
When it comes to planning for Halloween the Minnesota Department of Health's Kris Ehresmann echoed recommendations from the C-D-C that labeled traditional trick or treating as a "high-risk activity." "Public health recommendations are not intended to ruin your fun, but to keep you safe, and it is actually the virus that is the buzzkill here." Ehresmann said health department-approved lower risk activities included pumpkin carving with your family, virtual costume contests or one-way trick or treating with pre-made, individually wrapped, goody-bags.