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New state data shows more than 8,100 COVID-19 reinfections in Minnesota

Plus: Essentia Health fires 49 workers due to vaccine mandate; Wapo covers Frey’s re-election campaign; Xcel pledges zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050; and more.

Healthcare personnel working in a coronavirus disease intensive care unit.
Healthcare personnel working in a coronavirus disease intensive care unit.
Courtesy of Intermountain Health/Handout via REUTERS

Once is bad enough! The Star Tribune’s Jeremy Olson reports:More than 8,100 coronavirus reinfections have occurred in Minnesota, with a handful of people being infected three or more times, according to new state COVID-19 data released Monday. … While reinfections make up only 1% of the total 797,984 infections identified through testing, state health officials said they reinforce the need for vaccination to reduce the threat of severe COVID-19 illness and hospitalization in Minnesota. Among the 8,184 total reinfections, 4,293 have been identified through testing since July 1.”

Also in COVID news. WCCO reports: “Essentia Health says it has dismissed dozens of employees who have decided not to get the COVID-19 vaccine. … Monday was the health system’s deadline for employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Essentia Health announced the requirement in early August. … An Essentia Health representative said that 49 employees decided against the vaccination and did not choose to seek an exemption, so they have been dismissed.

Big story in the Washington Post on tomorrow’s election in Minneapolis. Holly Bailey writes: “In a state where people take pride in being ‘Minnesota nice,’ Frey has become a frequent punching bag for angry and frustrated residents who have blamed him for the city’s violent crime spike, flailing police department and deep, roiling racial inequalities. … Frey, who is up for reelection Tuesday, has been booed and heckled by activists demanding he defund the police, instead of merely reform the department as he has proposed. … Frey has been endorsed by other Democratic leaders in the state, including Gov. Tim Walz and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, though they haven’t publicly campaigned with him. He said he is unconcerned about what some call the ‘Don’t Rank Frey’ movement. He has pointed to his popularity among Black residents on the north side of the city and in the Somali community — two constituencies that have been hit hard by the uptick in violence and where many have been especially skeptical of the effort to replace the police department.”

Climate pledge. Also from WCCO:Xcel Energy announced Monday the company’s goal to achieve zero greenhouse gas emissions from its natural gas business by 2050. According to the release, ‘Xcel Energy is the only major U.S. energy provider to announce its commitment to provide 100% carbon-free electricity for reducing greenhouse gas emissions across three large sectors of the economy: electricity, natural gas use in buildings, and transportation.’”

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Sorry about that whole land thing… The Star Tribune’s Ryan Faircloth reports:The University of Minnesota announced Monday it will offer free or reduced tuition to many Native American students attending its five campuses starting in fall 2022, expanding a cost waiver program it previously only offered at its Morris campus. … U leaders touted the new initiative as one of the nation’s “most comprehensive free and reduced tuition programs” for Native American students. Incoming freshmen and tribal college transfer students who are enrolled members of one of Minnesota’s 11 federally recognized tribal nations will be able to attend the university’s Twin Cities, Duluth, Rochester, Crookston and Morris campuses for free or reduced tuition, depending on their family income level.”

In other news…

Another electric rate-hike request:Minnesota Power asks regulators for 17.5% rate hike” [Duluth News Tribune]

Redaction fail:Police Investigative Report Implicates Sheriff’s Deputy in Winston Smith Shooting” [Unicorn Riot]

Makram El-Amin interview:A Northside Imam Talks Community and Policing” [Mpls.St.Paul]

Tomorrow’s the last day:Early Voting At Record Levels As Minneapolis Residents Will Decide The Future Of Policing” [WCCO]