By Jean Doran Matua, Editor
We are only a few days into the Governor’s stay-at-home order. This means that everyone needs to stay at home except for essential things like a doctor appointment or getting groceries. People are encouraged to get outdoors for walks, exercise, and to enjoy the sunshine – but not to congregate in groups to do so.
President Trump has declared an additional 30 days (essentially all of April) for people to stay at home in order to mitigate the spread and severity of COVID-19.
Worldwide, as of Tuesday, March 31, there have been 846,281 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 41,482 deaths. 176,545 have recovered so far. Statistics for the United States include 180,789 total cases, 3,580 deaths, and 6,262 who have recovered. (You can find worldwide information in interactive form at www.worldometers.info/coronavirus.)
The Minnesota Department of Health will have the most current information for Minnesota residents. www.health.state.mn.us. As of Tuesday, March 31, Minnesota has 629 confirmed cases and 12 deaths, with 56 hospitalized (26 in ICU beds). Testing continues to lag behind, however, so numbers could be deceptively low.
The Minnesota coronavirus hotline number is (800) 657-3903, staffed from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
REAL ID was set to be required this October for all air travel, border crossings with Canada and Mexico, and entry into federal facilities. This deadline has now been extended to Oct. 1, 2021. Don’t worry at this time about expired driver’s licenses and tabs.
There are various loan and grant programs for small businesses affected by COVID-19, whether it’s for payroll or paying bills. Details are still being worked out, and we’ll share here whatever we learn.
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) has a website with all the information you need to know about symptoms, risk, social distancing, and more. The website is www.coronavirus.gov.
Distance learning began this Monday for all pre-K – 12 students in Minnesota. Aside from a few technical glitches, it’s going well.
If you think you have COVID-19, call your doctor’s office; do not go to the Emergency Room. If you have a dental emergency, call your dentist; they’re open for emergencies only.
Most importantly: wash your hands, keep your distance, stay home if you can (especially if you’re sick, with anything), and stop touching your face.