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Briefly

Human Services opens support hotline

FAIRMONT — Beginning yesterday, 2020, Community Health and Human Services of Faribault and Martin Counties will be providing a 24-hour hotline to community members who are quarantined or self-isolating to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Community members who are facing challenges to obtaining necessary essential items such as food, medicine, cleaning supplies, etc., and do not have family, friends or neighbors to help provide those items can call (507) 238-8434 at any time and leave a message. Agency staff will return calls between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

The need is now greater than ever to support the most vulnerable members of our community. A reminder to community members to check in with their loves ones and neighbors to see if they need anything so they can stay home as much as possible. Items obtained for others should be left at their door in order to maintain social distancing guidelines of six feet.

Walz to deliver State of the State

SAINT PAUL (AP) — Gov. Tim Walz has announced that he’ll deliver his postponed State of the State address on Sunday evening at 7 p.m., and he says he’s looking forward to speaking directly to Minnesotans during this uncertain time.

The governor said Wednesday that he’ll deliver the speech alone with a remote camera from the Governor’s Residence, where he was in his 12th day of self-quarantining since a member of his security detail tested positive for COVID-19.

“It is appropriate at this time with the character of Minnesota shining so brightly that we address where we’re at, and more importantly, where we’re going,” Walz said in his daily briefing for reporters.

Minnesotans can view the address on YouTube Live and participating media outlets.

Virus hits Minnesota prison system

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — COVID-19 has reached Minnesota’s prison system, highlighting the health threat to vulnerable inmates and the efforts to reduce the risks via early releases of nonviolent offenders.

The Minnesota Department of Corrections this week reported the first confirmed cases in state prisons — a staff member in the Red Wing juvenile prison, and three inmates and a staffer at the Moose Lake adult prison.

“We all know that our antiquated and overcrowded prison system is just a hotbed for some of this to happen,” Gov. Tim Walz said on a conference call with reporters.

Meanwhile, state officials reported five more deaths Wednesday, bringing the state’s total to 17, with nearly 700 confirmed infections.

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