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Mayo Clinic to lead tests of plasma treatment for COVID-19

Plus: Nice Ride offers free memberships to health care workers; Xcel will sell gas-fired power plant to Southwest Generation; how Minnesota’s African immigrant community is coming together in the face of coronavirus; and more.

Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic

KSTP reports: “The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced Friday that Mayo Clinic will be the lead institution conducting research with blood from those who have recovered from COVID-19. … During a new national plasma trial, blood plasma will be collected from people who have recovered from COVID-19, which will then be used to treat those who are in severe or life-threatening conditions. … According to health officials, a donor’s plasma contains antibodies that can attack the virus to help patients recover more rapidly. … Mayo Clinic will be working with physicians and investigators from 40 other institutions, including Johns Hopkins University and Washington University.”

Nice. WCCO reports:Nice Ride is offering critical health care workers a free 30-day membership while they battle on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. … The Minneapolis bikeshare service made the announcement Monday, when the classic green bikes were slated to return to city streets.”

Power move. Also from WCCO:Xcel Energy says it will sell its natural gas-fired power plant in southern Minnesota to Southwest Generation for $680 million and use the funds, in part, to support COVID-19 recovery efforts. … Xcel Energy had recently purchased the plant in early 2020 through a non-regulated affiliate company. Then, Southwest Generation, a Denver-based company, offered to buy the facility.”

The Minnesota Daily’s Helen Sabrowsky reports: “Across the United States, students enlisted in the National Guard are adjusting to life during a pandemic. … So far, this means shifting to online classes, using Instagram for workouts and changes in annual training. But in states with a larger National Guard response, some students are beginning to serve on missions directly related to the coronavirus response. … For the more than 100 students at the University of Minnesota enlisted, this brings added uncertainty for their future. … While it is unlikely that they will be asked to serve on a mission related to COVID-19, the National Guard and the University are prepared for the possibility and ready to support cadets, said Capt. Brook Vance, assistant professor of military science.”

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The Star Tribune’s Maya Rao reports:The African immigrant and refugee community is banding together as they scramble to keep small businesses afloat, ensure that elders have enough food and spread the word to those who don’t speak English about virus symptoms and the importance of physical distancing. Higher rates of poverty, larger families to support and strong entrepreneurial drives bring added challenges.”

In other news…

Big shoes to fill:Schell’s looks into taking over Target building” [New Ulm Journal]

This critique misses the Marx:Coronavirus In Minnesota: Bar Owner Violating Executive Order Told Police ‘This Is Communism’” [WCCO]

Oh, great:Pets can catch coronavirus from humans” [KARE]

Looking at June 15:Isle Royale delays opening date 2 months due to COVID-19” [Duluth News Tribune]