September 23, 2020

Stevens County Times

Your spot for community news in Stevens County, Minnesota

An Update from the Stevens County Board of Commissioners

Board of Commissioners

District 1 – Bob Kopitzke District 2 – Jeanne Ennen District 3 – Ron Staples District 4 – Donny Wohlers District 5 – Neil Wiese

400 Colorado Avenue · Morris, MN 56267 · Ph 320-208-6556

MEDIA BRIEFING – 03/20/2020

STEVENS COUNTY, MINNESOTA

COVID -19 is a national public health emergency. As such, all communications as they pertain to the virus and its management are coordinated through our local public health provider – Horizon Public Health. (https://horizonpublichealth.org/). Other resources for the public are: Minnesota Department of Health (MDH https://www.health.state.mn.us/), and the Center for Disease Control (CDC https://www.cdc.gov/)

Effective at 4:30 pm on Friday March 20, 2020, Stevens County will be closed to the public. This action is being taken as an appropriate prevention and protection measure in response to the COVID-19. Due to the current public health emergency, Stevens County Board of Commissioners Board Chair Bob Kopitzke has authorized a resolution for a Declaration of Emergency. The declaration will formally be voted on by the Board within 72 hours of its signing. By taking this action, the county officially activates its Emergency Operations Plan. For the past month, county staff have been gradually increasing time and efforts spent in emergency planning and preparation for this emergency. We value communication with our citizens and will share information as it becomes available. Our goal right now is to build a strong and resilient response that will work to support medical, first responders, law enforcement, businesses, an ultimately the citizens of this county.

Staff are working diligently on securing resources and delivering vital necessary services in a different manner for the time being. Please refer to our website as a starting point for access to services. We realize this is a difficult time for all citizens socially, mentally, and financially. Our primary goal to prevent the spread of the virus and to end its progress. With that in mind, keep your fellow citizens in your thoughts and stay at home to stop the spread as much as possible. Stay home if you are sick. Should you need help in accessing services due to the loss of a job, please call our general human services number for access to eligibility services at 320.208.6600. Most of our services can be provided remotely.

The County’s role in emergency operations is to respond to community needs and secure resources. As we develop ways to serve the public, we will post them to our website. One such example is GIS has developed a map with food service availability and free school lunches, that can be found at: https://stevens county.maps.arcgis.com/home/index.html

During the coming days – call or text your neighbors to check on them. Reach out to those that have been socially isolated. The County will continue to post emergency operations updates as relevant information becomes available. If you see a need in the community – Please call hotline listed on HPH Website : 1.800.657.3504 from 7 am to 7 pm (schools, childcares, businesses) until further notice.

On Behalf of the Stevens County Board of Commissioners,

Rebecca Young – Steven’s County Coordinator rebeccayoung@co.stevens.mn.us 320.208.6583