Governor Walz announced a series of additional COVID related restrictions—Implementing a Four Week Dial Back on Certain Activities to Slow the Spread of COVID-19. The changes are effective Friday, November 20 at 11:59 pm through December 18, 2020 at 11:59 pm. Masks and face coverings are required. Older adults are advised to continue following the Stay At Home orders.
Except as specifically permitted in this Executive Order, social gatherings are prohibited. Social gatherings are groups of individuals, who are not members of the same household, congregated together for a common or coordinated social, community, or leisure purpose—even if social distancing can be maintained. This prohibition includes indoor and outdoor gatherings, planned and spontaneous gatherings, and public and private gatherings.
Individuals may engage in any outdoor activity that is dependent upon or derives its principal benefit from natural surroundings and open space, including but not limited to hunting, fishing, trapping, boating, hiking, biking, golfing, picnicking, skiing, skating, and snowshoeing for the purposes of pleasure, rest, exercise, or relaxation, provided that the activity can be engaged in accordance with the Outdoor Recreation Guidelines, including maintaining at least six feet of separation between participants from different households.
In dialing back on social activities, in-person dining, sports, and fitness establishments, Minnesota joins an increasing number of states imposing similar measures, including California, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington, and Vermont. Certain establishments and businesses can continue to offer goods and services in a safe manner in accordance with applicable guidance available at the Stay Safe Minnesota website (https://staysafe.mn.gov), but many will again have to weather the challenge of adjusting their operations to “to-go” or virtual means. In the near term, we know that this will be a hardship. In the long term, I hope that this significant step will prove beneficial to Minnesotans, our schools, and our economy, and safely bridge the gap to more permanent solutions to this pandemic.
At Home COVID Testing
There are multiple public sites for COVID testing. There is now an at-home option.
Minnesota and Vault Medical Services have teamed up to offer at-home COVID-19 saliva testing for everyone, with or without symptoms, at no cost.
When you are ready to take the test, you will log in to access the the Vault virtual waiting room and do a video visit with a Vault test supervisor. They can give you instructions and make sure you do the test the right way. You will then send the test to the lab in Oakdale, Minnesota, using the prepaid package. Once it arrives at the lab, you will get your test results by email in 24-48 hours.
This saliva test is just as accurate as the nasal swab test and is available at no cost for every Minnesotan, whether or not you have insurance.
If you do have insurance, you will need to provide your information so your insurance company can pay for your test. If your insurance does not pay for COVID-19 tests or does not pay enough, the state will cover the cost. If you do not have insurance, the state will pay for your test. You will not receive a bill.
The saliva test checks whether you have COVID-19 right now and can spread it to others. It is not an antibody test that looks for whether you have had COVID-19 in the past.
Both adults and children can use these tests. An adult 18 or older must request a test for a child.
Saliva testing may not be right for those with low saliva production, such as children under age 4 or someone who has suffered a stroke.
It is important for us to do our part to reduce the spread of the flu, especially now with COVID spiking and our hospitals full and running at capacity. The flu can be serious for older adults who are at higher risk of sever complications from the flu virus. Now is the time to get our flu shots if we have not already done so. The flu shot is the best way to help keep us from getting the flu, as well as protect those around us. Contact your primary care clinics and pharmacies to find out how best to schedule and receive a flu shot. Flu shots are covered by Medicare.
The Arrowhead Area on Agency is indicating that some Home Care Agencies may provide flu shots in the home for a fee. Spectrum, for example, will do it for $50.00. It is best to call individual home health agencies for information and costs.
Area Food Distributions
The Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency (AEOA) is sponsoring free food distributions in Hibbing and Virginia during the months of November and December. It is first come, first serve. The food is intended for those making 300% of the federal poverty limit or those having an urgent need for food due to COVID-19.
AEOA requests that participants arrive no more than 15 minutes before the event starts. Hibbing, MN--2900 Beltline at 1:30 PM
Wednesday, November 25
Thursday, December 10
Wednesday, December 23
Virginia, MN—702 3rd Ave S at 1:30 pm
Thursday, December 3
Thursday, December 17
Wednesday, December 30
Free COVID Non-emergency Medical Transportation
To request a ride, call 1-800-528-7622, Option 3
Available to residents of Greater Minnesota
Service is only available for non-emergency COVID-19 positive or suspected positive medical transportation.
Examples include testing locations, medical treatments, and pharmacy pick-ups
Tai Ji Quan Moving for Better Balance Online via Zoom Conferencing
Tai Ji Quan: Moving for better balance is and evidence-based program designed to keep you mobile and independent. Improve your balance, strengthen your muscles, and reduce the risk of falling. Each session consists of warm-up exercises, a mix of core forms and brief cool-down exercises.
An information session is scheduled for Tuesday, November 17, 11:00 am-12:00 pm Sessions are Tuesdays and Thursday, 11:00 am-12:00 pm, November 24, 2020-February 11, 2021.
For information or to register, contact:
ElderCircle 218-999-9233 or firstname.lastname@example.org
An invite will be sent to your email after registration
A $5 per call donation is requested. Nobody is turned away for an inability to pay.
Medicare Open Enrollment Period Ends December 7
Older adults enrolled in Medicare plans should have received packets in September. The Senior Linkage Line is a good resource for Medicare enrollment questions: The Senior Linkage Line is a free statewide service of the Minnesota Board on Aging in partnership with the Minnesota's area agencies on aging. Call 1-800-333-2433 with questions.
Minnesota Department of Health
On October 12, the Minnesota Department of Health released Minnesota Home Care Provider/Assisted Living Visitation and Activities Guidance Throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic.
The Mesabi YMCA is open today, requiring reservations with entry. The Governor’s Executive Order closing fitness centers and gyms, is effective tonight, November 20 at 11:59 pm through December 18 at 11:59 pm. The Mesabi YMCA is Here For You and Here For Good through our virtual connections--our daily email and links to fitness workouts with our favorite instructors. Be safe and be well.
Click the link below to directly access Colleen and Connie’s workout videos: