|7/24/2020 11:51:00 AM|
Virus numbers' steady increase
locally a concern
Chisago County Health and Human Services Director Robert Benson reported to the County Board last week that the coronavirus case numbers were going up about one-per-day locally and yet the lone virus-related death has held steady for weeks in Chisago County.
This week’s regular data show 114 covid-19 cases confirmed in Chisago County. The cases that have tested positive are at a 2.8 percent rate, with the state percent of cases testing positive at 6.7 percent.
As commerce everywhere adopts policies requiring masks to be worn (Kohls, Target, etc.) the county commissioners heard that it might be wise to consider mandatory mask wearing in all county spaces.
Commissioner George McMahon agreed, but wanted to act on masks later, when a policy is drafted and the Board will be prepared to discuss exactly how masks will be implemented and nail down details.
Board Chair Ben Montzka added, “We have a duty to protect the community.”
The County Board agreed to put the issue of mandatory mask wearing on the agenda for August 5, or possibly sooner, should a special session be needed.
The Board scheduled a work session Wed., July 22 (yesterday) in the morning, to get a policy on ideas for spending CARES Act coronavirus funds announced by Governor Walz; set to go to counties and cites based on population size. (Story Press July 2.)
County Administrator Chase Burnham reminded the commissioners the $6 million coming to the county needs to be dedicated to business, public health and/or direct county expenses among
other qualifying uses. Burnham said the committee working on dispersing the county’s CARES Act appropriation needs “policy perspective” from elected officials as to who gets what and how the dollars are spent.
Fortunately the governor’s emergency declaration is in place, enabling special Open Meeting rules to facilitate all these remote (Internet) meetings, he stated. Under an emergency situation Minnesota gives more leeway on remote attendance per year allowed an elected official, etc.