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Please, Let's All Be As Safe As Possible

From the desk of Police Chief Stier. With record high COVID numbers across the state, this is no time to let your guard down. When COVID came to light, we all took safety precautions to ensure the safety of our families and friends. Minnesotans have let their guard down and are tired of COVID19. We get it, believe me, we want it to be over just as much as you do. Please do not buy in to the social media and coffee shop rumors that, “COVID is nothing to be afraid of”, “It’s just like the flu”, “With so many false-positive tests, testing is not accurate” or “A guy I know had COVID, recovered and is just fine. I don’t care if I get it”.  The last comment had me thinking about this mentality.

Sure, statistics show most people will contract the virus and recover without any lasting effects. How about the people with underlying conditions or a healthcare worker who uses the same gas pump you did without wearing gloves? How about the Vietnam Vet who shops at the same grocery store you do, and uses a shopping cart you used prior. Excuses for not wearing a mask in public range from, “I have a medical condition” (From a perfectly heathy 18 year old) to “Masks don’t work, so why should I wear one.” The highest numbers of positive tests result from unknown community spread. As of today (11-09-20) within the last 24 hours, 31 deaths have been tied to COVID19 in Minnesota. 2,656 Minnesotans have lost their lives, 180,862 tested positive, 1,031 are hospitalized and 218 are currently in the Intensive Care Unit.

Current positivity rates in Minnesota is 13.2 %. Meaning out of 100 people tested, 13.2 had a positive test result. On 11-03-20, the positivity rate was 26.3%! Numbers are on the rise in Belle Plaine as more residents are being tested. I spoke with several positive, now recovered COVID residents and symptoms varied from only a runny nose to a sore throat. One stated they thought they had a “normal sinus infection” while another stated “I thought it was just allergies”.  Symptoms range from a minor runny nose to being unable to take normal breaths. In short, if you have ANY symptoms, I strongly encourage you to be tested. If you have contact with someone who tested positive for COVID19, don’t panic, but be aware that you may also be infected. COVID19 may be dormant for up to 4 days, prior to symptoms. With this said, if you have contact with a positive COVID19 resident, you should self-quarantine for a minimum of 4 days and monitor symptoms. Self-quarantine doesn’t mean you have to lock yourself indoors and never leave for 4 days. Self-quarantine simply means be vigilant if you have to go out in public. The mentality of, “I don’t have symptoms so I didn’t get it” simply isn’t true. Wear gloves and a mask if you have to enter a gas station or grocery store.  Seek testing if you have ANY symptoms.

Rumors of another, “Stay at Home” order are circulating. As of today, there is no indication Governor Walz will issue another order over the holidays. This may change if positivity rates rise.

What can you do to slow the spread? Stay at home if you can. Wash your hands frequently. Wear a mask and gloves when in a public setting. Avoid large gatherings. If you feel sick, stay home. Don’t buy into rumors and gossip circulating around COVID19, refer to the CDC or State COVID guidelines. AVIOD Social Media Rumors! Follow the CDC guidelines for upcoming holiday parties.

As a lifelong resident of Belle Plaine, I encourage everyone to self-police the spread of COVID19 within our city. Talk to your children about the importance of wearing a mask and gloves in public. We all need to pull together and mitigate the spread of COVID19. One life lost is too many. Together we can make a difference, please do your part!

 

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