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Minnesota health officials to recommend vaccine boosters for all adults

Plus: MPCA asks variety of businesses to start monitoring for “forever chemicals”; Minnesota artist George Morrison featured on a new stamp; nearly a quarter of inmates at St. Cloud prison have COVID-19; and more.

A syringe filled with a dose of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine
A syringe filled with a dose of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine.
REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Christopher Magan reports for the Pioneer Press: “In response to surging coronavirus cases, many of which are among the fully vaccinated, Minnesota health officials will recommend all adults get vaccine boosters starting Friday, even if federal regulators don’t back the move. ‘The data are so compelling on the value of boosters to increase that protection that we think it is quite urgent to move,’  state Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said Tuesday. …Later Tuesday, it was reported that the Food and Drug Administration is expected to approve Pfizer boosters for all U.S. adults before an advisory panel meets Friday. The final step would be approval by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

Greg Stanley writes for the Star Tribune: “State regulators will ask a wide swath of businesses, manufacturers, landfills and municipalities to start monitoring for a class of industrial chemicals known as PFAS, a major health and environmental threat across the country. The results could offer one of the most comprehensive understandings yet of exactly where PFAS contamination is still coming from. The substances, known as “forever chemicals,” do not break down in the environment. Monitoring would begin sometime this winter, said Katrina Kessler, commissioner of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), which announced its monitoring plan on Tuesday.”

Dan Kraker reports for MPR: “Celebrated Minnesota artist George Morrison — who was born in a Native American fishing village along the North Shore of Lake Superior in 1919, but whose art career took him around the world — will be featured on a new stamp to be released next year by the U.S. Postal Service. … Five of Morrison’s colorful, abstract landscape paintings will be featured as part of the postal service’s Forever Stamp release in the spring of 2022.”

KSTP-TV’s Josh Skluzacek reports: “Tuesday, Gov. Tim Walz’s office announced that more than 44,000 students ages 5 to 11 have been vaccinated against COVID-19 so far this month. Of the 44,250 children vaccinated through Nov. 14, over 4,000 received the vaccine at one of the 19 school clinics across the state since Nov. 3. The Minnesota Department of Health has partnered with more than 30 schools across the state to schedule on-site vaccination clinics this month, Walz’s office said.”

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WCCO-TV’s Liz Collin reports: “In the largest outbreak in Minnesota’s prison system in months, nearly a quarter of the inmates in St. Cloud have COVID-19. The Department of Corrections reports 242 positive cases right now at that facility alone. … New COVID-19 concerns at Minnesota prisons come at a time the union representing corrections officers has sounded the alarm over what they call dangerous staffing levels statewide. It’s made worse they say through a pandemic that caused some to retire early, unable to feel safe in a difficult setting for a highly-infectious disease.”

MPR’s Mark Zdechlik reports, “Before the pandemic, the annual cost of providing health care for Minnesotans with private, non-government health coverage was increasing at about 5 percent a year. Last year those costs decreased by 2.5 percent.”

In the Star Tribune, Jon Bream writes: The Bob Dylan Center has acquired some rare artifacts, including a recording of his first major concert in 1961 in New York City and the so-called ‘Madison Tapes,’ recorded by a 19-year-old Dylan in a Wisconsin apartment. The Dylan Center, which will open next spring in Tulsa, Okla., announced these new acquisitions on Tuesday. The Madison tapes, recorded in the winter of 1960-61 in the apartment of musician Danny Kalb, feature the itinerant Minnesotan singing 20 songs by the likes of Woody Guthrie, Little Walter, Pete Seeger and Jimmie Rodgers.”

For KELO-TV in South Dakota Bob Mercer reports, “The daughter of Governor Kristi Noem wrote Tuesday that she plans to shut down her real-estate appraisal business and will surrender her license at the end of the year. Kassidy Peters made the declaration in a letter to the state secretary of labor and regulation and to three legislators. Her decision came one day after the Legislature’s Government Operations and Audit Committee voted to subpoena the plan that had been been reached between Peters and the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation.”