The Minnesota Attorney General's office filed a lawsuit against a pop up testing company and associated lab after people complained they did not receive results from the facility. Hannah Puffer said after waiting throughout the day she called a number provided and only was able to reach an automated phone system. "And then I got an automated text that said please provide all this information in order to get your results within the hour. So I provided that information. Did not get my results." Puffer said she still has not received her test results and is concerned about the amount of [...]
The cost of at-home COVID-19 tests is now being covered by private health care plans. Mo Schriner spokeswoman for the Minnesota Department of Commerce: "Before you purchase at-home tests ensure that you are following the steps necessary to have those costs covered. Check with your health plan and the way to do that is to look on the back of your health insurance card and you'll find a contact number -- it says contact member services. Give them a call so that you know you are going through the steps to most easily get your costs covered." Schriner says insured persons [...]
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, the Department of Public Safety and a Minnesota based non-profit launched a video they hope will raise awareness about sex trafficking in Minnesota. Beth Holger with "The Link" says the video, which features parents of victims telling their story, is necessary to help fight back against human trafficking in our state. "In 2021 we worked with 134 unduplicated victim survivors of sex trafficking. And we are only one of the services providers for the safe harbor network within the state." The full video can be found on the D-P-S page on YouTube.
The Salvation Army of Minnesota served a record number of people in 2021. Spokesman Dan Furry says COVID-19 really drove a lot of extra need: "We served 735,000 people last year and that is in comparison with a non-COVID year 2019 that's up about 136 percent." While hoping for the best, Furry says they are bracing for another high-demand year as cases of COVID continue to surge.
As cases of omicron continue to surge, and healthcare workers deal with the impact of crowded hospitals, U-S Senator Tina Smith is reminding Minnesotans... "The good news is that the omicron variant, most people less sick and of course, if you are vaccinated and boosted, which everybody should do, you are much less likely to get so sick that you require hospitalization or that even worse would happen." Senator Smith is also encouraging you to wear N-95 masks, which she says is helpful in stopping the spread of the virus.
Businesses and organizations across the state continue to be hit hard by the latest surge of COVID and child care facilities are no exception. From staffing challenges to kids having to quarantine because of exposure, many parents are scrambling to find accommodations. The Minnesota Department of Human Services recently developed a new policy no longer requiring children and staff who are considered close contact to quarantine. Chad Dunkley is CEO of New Horizon Academy: "Childcare providers are in a difficult position that they do now have flexibility in how long they ask families to quarantine and some other health policies." [...]
The U-S Senate is set to take up voting rights legislation today--but the measure is likely to fail. The bill has no Republican support, and at least two Democrats have said they can't support it. Hamline University political science professor David Schultz says the bill's failure could have significant repercussions for Democrats come election time... "Right now Joe Biden has fairly low approval ratings and this doesn't bode well especially with the historic pattern where a president's party generally does not do well in the first mid-term elections." Schultz says that as some Republicans continue raising questions about the legitimacy of [...]
The middle of January is here and whether you have maintained your early year commitment to health and fitness, or are just starting, Steve Hintz, an exercise physiologist and founder of "Fitness First M-N" says take heart, small steps, taken properly, can make a big difference. "You're better off if you have two or three short, intense bouts of exercise. Instead of trying to do too much, too fast and risk the overuse, misuse of the body and then you end up falling off the wagon anyway." Hintz says be mindful of the difference between exercise and activity, gearing your focus [...]
U-S Senator Amy Klobuchar joined Tina Smith and Governor Tim Walz to tout $300 million in federal funding over five years to help fix Minnesota's bridges. "I think no state knows better than Minnesota how important it is to have safe and reliable bridges, I remember the cracks in the broken transportation system became tragically clear on August 1st 2007, when the 35W bridge collapsed in the middle of the Mississippi River taking the lives of 13 and injuring many more." Senator Klobuchar says the money will be used to fix roughly 600 bridges in poor condition throughout the state. The [...]
The countdown to the tax filing season is on. State Department of Revenue Assistant Commissioner Sarah Bronson Minnesota's income tax filing season is set to open on Monday, January 24th, the same day the IRS will begin accepting returns: "What people should be doing is just preparing the items they need to file their taxes. When they get their return prepared they should always double-check and make sure their social security numbers and addresses and information are correct." The income tax filing deadline is Monday, April 18th.