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ENEWS: Conglomeration of timely news items!

Date Published: 12/22/2021

Author: Erin Wilson

Where to get tested for COVID-19 before the holidays 

If you’re heading anywhere for the holidays, here’s an Axios article that compiles options for COVID-19 testing in Minnesota beforehand. As it states, some state-run testing sites have extended hours this week— at these sites you can take a PCR or rapid antigen test for free. Through the Minnesota Department of Health, you can order a free saliva test to take at home (though these results may take longer due to the time it takes to receive & return test kits in the mail). At-home rapid tests are also available for purchase at several pharmacies. We wish you and your loved ones a safe and healthy holiday season! 

Ten-thousand COVID-19 deaths in MN 

Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Health Jan Malcom talked to the Pioneer Press about the number of confirmed COVID-19 deaths in MN passing 10,000 last week. To read more about these numbers, the Pioneer Press goes into detail in this article, breaking down COVID-19 deaths by age range, month, and county. Minnesota has the 12th lowest COVID-19 death rate in the U.S., but ranks near the top in the percentage of deaths that occured in long-term care facilities. 

“​​There are 1,645 patients currently hospitalized with COVID-19, including 371 in intensive care. The last time this many Minnesotans were hospitalized with COVID was during December 2020, near the height of the state’s worst surge and before vaccines were widely available. Of the 130 Minnesota hospitals reporting, 45 percent said they did not have an adult patient bed available. Of the 68 Minnesota hospitals with adult intensive care beds, 84 percent said they had none available,” the article reads. 

How climate change is affecting winter in MN 

After last week’s 50 degree weather, thunderstorm and tornadoes, this winter has been far from typical. This segment from Minnesota Public Radio digs into how while climate change is changing Minnesota winters, last week’s strange weather might have been largely an anomaly. However, the storms were still “symptomatic of climate change,” the article said. 

“From a climate science perspective, we know we're in a pivotal decade to make choices about what our future climate looks and feels like — and the extent of these extreme events that we will have to navigate through and survive together as communities,’’ Minnesota Climate Adaptation Partnership director Heidi Roop said in the article. 

The article says that Minnesota can expect climate change to affect the types of trees growing in the state, see earlier insect infestations and larger potholes, impact winter recreation, and even cause damage to infrastructure with the state’s freeze-thaw cycles increase. 

Updates on Kim Potter trial 

For updates on the trial of Kim Potter in the killing of Daunte Wright, you can check out articles from WCCO. On Tuesday, the jury asked the judge for guidance on what to do if they cannot reach a verdict, suggesting there may be worries about a divided jury. Deliberations began again this morning. You can find more coverage on previous days of the trial hyperlinked throughout the articles above. 


“Minnesotans are missing 10,000 loved ones because of this pandemic — that’s 10,000 fewer spots at the holiday dinner table and thousands of families grieving during what should be a time of joy,” — Gov. Tim Walz, in a statement to the Pioneer Press

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