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Minnesota to be among first states to offer ‘test-to-treat’ sites for COVID

Plus: school districts adding more active shooter security; water keeps rising along Minnesota’s border with Canada; corner of 1st Avenue and 7th Street in Minneapolis to be renamed for Prince; and more.

Coronavirus disease treatment pill Paxlovid
Coronavirus disease treatment pill Paxlovid
REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini

Emma Nelson writes: “Minnesota will be among the first states in the country to host federally supported sites where COVID-19 patients can access both tests and treatment. The White House announced Thursday that it will send clinical personnel to Minnesota to staff existing state-run testing locations, transforming them into ‘test-to-treat’ sites where eligible patients can get a prescription for the antiviral drug Paxlovid. … In Minnesota, teams of doctors, nurse practitioners and physicians’ assistants will be able to write prescriptions for patients who test positive for COVID at test-to-treat sites, said Erin McLachlan, health care preparedness program manager with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH).”

For KSTP-TV Eric Chaloux reports, “The Minneapolis City Council announced Thursday a delay in the confirmation process to find a permanent city coordinator due to an ongoing city human resources investigation in the office. A group of City Coordinator’s Office employees earlier in the week raised allegations of an ongoing ‘toxic’ work environment inside one of the most powerful offices at City Hall. The CCO handles a variety of projects including supervising federal programs, large city-wide events, City Council-driven activities and the Minneapolis Convention Center.”

For KSTP-TV Brittney Ermon reports, “Some Minnesota school districts said they’re being proactive by putting protective security measures in place to keep kids safe in the classroom. ‘It’s a nightmare in every sense of the word’, Michael Baumann, Lakeville Area Schools superintendent, said regarding the Texas mass shooting.  … Baumann is hoping to curb concerns with a new security system built to protect Lakeville Schools students and staff in an active shooter situation. The 3D Response Systems’ design would provide safe spaces and a rapid response from first responders. The plan has been in the works for a year.”

Nick Ferraro writes in the Pioneer Press: “A St. Paul man has pleaded guilty in federal court for his role as a middleman in a straw-purchase scheme to buy a gun that was ultimately used in the deadly shooting at the Seventh Street Truck Park last October. Gabriel Lee Young-Duncan, 27, pleaded guilty Wednesday in U.S. District Court to one count of conspiracy to make false a statement in the purchase of a firearm. … According to a January indictment, Young-Duncan conspired with 25-year-old Jerome Fletcher Horton Jr. of Minneapolis to purchase at least 25 firearms from Twin Cities gun dealers, which Young-Duncan planned to sell to third parties who could not legally buy a gun.”

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John Myers writes for the Forum News Service: “When many people think of a flood, they imagine a rush of water that comes up fast, wreaks havoc, and then subsides quickly to reveal the damage done. But in the water world that residents along Minnesota’s border lakes with Ontario are living this spring, the floodwaters came up weeks ago and just keep getting higher, expected to surpass record levels in coming days. It may be into July before water levels drop back close to normal as the Rainy River watershed continues to spill out of its boundaries, with flooding occurring from just north of Lake Vermilion to Lake of the Woods and beyond.”

Says Matt Sepic for MPR, “The Minneapolis City Council on Thursday approved another $1.2 million in settlements for people assaulted by police during the protests and unrest that followed the police murder of George Floyd. Freelance photographer Linda Tirado of Nashville will receive $600,000 for the loss of sight in her left eye after an officer fired a 40mm foam round at her while she was covering protests outside the 5th Precinct police station on May 29, 2020. …The council also approved a $645,000 payment to Virgil Lee Jackson Jr., whom police beat and tased for two minutes, even after he surrendered.”

For MPR, Michelle Wiley reports: “Hundreds of health care workers at Planned Parenthood in the north central states, including Minnesota, have formally filed for union election with the National Labor Relations Board. The group includes more than 400 frontline workers at 28 locations in Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska. … Workers said in a press conference Thursday that issues around decision making, staffing levels and pay all factored into their decision to pursue unionization.”

FOX 9 reports: “The corner of 1st Avenue and 7th Street in downtown Minneapolis, where the famous music venue First Avenue sits, will now be renamed to honor Prince. The Minneapolis City Council approved a petition on Thursday to name that intersection as ‘Prince Rogers Nelson Way.’“

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