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Another wave of coronavirus surges through Minnesota’s assisted-living facilities

Plus: Minnesota reports nearly 80 percent turnout for 2020 election; U of M to cancels football game against Wisconsin due to COVID; Republicans ask Wisconsin Supreme Court to block certification of state’s presidential election results; and more.

In the Star Tribune, Chris Serres and Glen Howatt report: “The coronavirus is surging back into Minnesota’s senior homes, with facilities running desperately short of the one resource they cannot go without — staff. Across the state, a second wave of coronavirus cases is raging through nursing homes and assisted-living facilities that escaped the first wave of outbreaks this spring, once again threatening older adults who are most at risk of dying from COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the virus.”

Says Steve Karnowski for the AP, “Minnesota’s state canvassing board unanimously certified the state’s election results Tuesday, an ordinarily routine task that drew closer attention due to President Donald Trump’s efforts to delay it in key states. Joe Biden defeated Trump in Minnesota by just over 233,000 votes, or about 7 percentage points, the board certified in a 5-0 vote with no debate. … Secretary of State Steve Simon told the board that Minnesota once again led the country in turnout at 79.956% of eligible voters, the state’s highest percentage since 1956, despite the challenges of the pandemic.”

Also from the AP: “Minnesota is calling off its scheduled game Saturday at Wisconsin due to positive COVID-19 cases within its program, a move that likely knocks the 18th-ranked Badgers out of consideration for the Big Ten championship game. The Minnesota-Wisconsin game won’t be rescheduled. Minnesota athletic director Mark Coyle, president Joan Gabel and athletic medical director Brad Nelson opted against playing the game after consulting with Big Ten officials. School officials didn’t say how many active cases they had.”

A WCCO-TV story says, “Minnesota’s major hospitals and healthcare systems are stepping up their urgency ahead of Thanksgiving this week with a messaging campaign that declares ‘There’s no more time to be ‘Minnesota Nice.’ The campaign is called ‘Fight COVID MN.’ … One of the first two posters shows a healthcare worker in PPE with text that says, ‘We’re not the front line. You are. We’re your last chance.’ The other reads, ‘We’re sure it’s good, but is Grandma’s pumpkin pie really to die for?’”

And this from Kayla Rivas at Fox News, “A top executive with the Mayo Clinic Health System on Tuesday said that amid ongoing, high numbers of coronavirus-related hospitalizations and strained capacity, a number of beds were put in an ambulance garage.  Dr. Richard Helmers, regional vice president of the Mayo Clinic Health System in Northwest Wisconsin, told Fox News the situation is ‘fluid,’ but there are times when all five hospitals in the health system are full.”

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The Star Tribune Zoe Jackson reports, “Cole Stevens was laid off from his Bloomington food service job at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and since then, he’s gotten by with freelance audio work and other odd jobs. But as the colder months approach, so does more uncertainty about his ability to help out with the bills at home. … Many Minnesota high school students like Stevens lost their jobs and were denied unemployment benefits and pandemic assistance simply for being students. The recent high school graduate is among the plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit filed last month by youth equity nonprofit Youthprise against the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) and DEED Commissioner Steve Grove.”

Says Morgan Phillips for Fox News, “Members of ‘The Squad’ — Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. and Ilhan Omar, D-Minn. — are mounting a petition against President-elect Biden nominating his former chief of staff Bruce Reed for a role within the White House, claiming Reed is a ‘deficit hawk.’ Ocasio-Cortez, Omar and Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., are the first members of Congress to sign the petition, launched by the Justice Democrats. The group objects to Reed potentially serving as the head of the Office of Management and Budget.”

The AP also reports: “Republicans filed a lawsuit Tuesday asking the Wisconsin Supreme Court to block certification of the presidential election results even as a recount over President-elect Joe Biden’s win over President Donald Trump is ongoing. The lawsuit echoes many of the same arguments Trump is making in trying, unsuccessfully, to have tens of thousands of ballots discounted during the recount. It also seeks to give the power to name presidential electors to the Republican-controlled Legislature.”

At KMSP-TV we learn this: “A woman in Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota got a video of a squirrel outside her home who accidentally got a little tipsy from eating fermented pears.  In the video, the squirrel starts to tip over, then balances itself before getting dazed again. It happened last Friday. Katy Morlok said feeding the squirrels has become her hobby because it gives her something to watch out the window while she’s working from home, but she didn’t intend to get the squirrel drunk.”