New Richmond distiller switches to sanitizer

Employees from New Richmond’s 45th Parallel Distillery logged big miles on their fitness trackers Monday morning jogging back and forth between customers and a large steel tank full of 250 gallons of homemade hand sanitizer. Continue reading

45th Parallel Distillery employee Anton Werni departs the distillery to deliver two bottles of Hand Sanitizer to a customer waiting curbside. 45th Parallel brewed the Sanitizer using a recipe from the World Health Organization and distributed it to community members for free on Monday, March 23, 2020. Tom Lindfors / RiverTown Multimedia
45th Parallel Distillery employee Anton Werni departs the distillery to deliver two bottles of Hand Sanitizer to a customer waiting curbside. 45th Parallel brewed the Sanitizer using a recipe from the World Health Organization and distributed it to community members for free on Monday, March 23, 2020. Tom Lindfors / RiverTown Multimedia

Update: Pierce County COVID-19 cases now number three

The Ellsworth School District Sunday morning provided additional details in a districtwide alert stating an individual who attended a recent high school choir trip to New Orleans tested positive for COVID-19. Due to privacy laws, the district has not released further details about the person, who may or may not be a student.

Then Sunday evening the district sent an email saying a second person involved in the trip had tested positive for the virus. Continue reading

Three COVID-19 cases confirmed as of March 23 in St. Croix County

County Public Health Administrator Kelli Engen said two of the confirmed cases have evidence of travel, while a third had contact with a traveler. Continue reading

The trip of a lifetime ... in uncertain times: Even a castle in Wales can’t escape COVID-19 crisis

Roch Castle in Pembrokeshire, Wales, just after sunset Wednesday, March 11. RiverTown Multimedia reporter Bob Burrows and his wife, Kellie, of River Falls spent four nights at this 12th century castle during their 20th wedding anniversary trip earlier this month. But the couple had to cut their trip short by two days due to the COVID-19 breakout. Bob Burrows / RiverTown Multimedia
Roch Castle in Pembrokeshire, Wales, just after sunset Wednesday, March 11. RiverTown Multimedia reporter Bob Burrows and his wife, Kellie, of River Falls spent four nights at this 12th century castle during their 20th wedding anniversary trip earlier this month. But the couple had to cut their trip short by two days due to the COVID-19 breakout. Bob Burrows / RiverTown Multimedia

RiverTown Multimedia reporter Bob Burrows and his wife, Kellie, recently returned from a trip to Wales and Ireland to celebrate their 20th anniversary. While it was a trip of a lifetime, they were also busy dealing with the nearly daily developments regarding the COVID-19 crisis. Continue reading

Signs of a healthy community in the time of pandemic

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There are many positive things happening in our communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please share the good news. Continue reading

Poll

Minnesota

66 more COVID-19 cases in Minnesota as Walz self-quarantines after exposure

A member of the governor's security detail tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday night and as a precaution, Walz said he would remain in self-quarantine for 14 days, through April 6. The news came just ahead of an announcement that 66 new cases of COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, had been reported in Minnesota bringing the state's total cases to 235. Continue reading

Sen. Amy Klobuchar's husband John Bessler tests positive for COVID-19

Klobuchar said that because the two-week window of her potential infection has passed and because she hasn't been with Bessler since he became ill, she will not be tested for COVID-19. Continue reading

Wisconsin

Wisconsin Gov. Evers to issue order closing non-essential businesses starting Tuesday

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers announced Monday, March 23, he will issue an executive order temporarily ceasing all non-essential business in the state to help stop the spread of the respiratory illness COVID-19. Continue reading

Notebook

Allina calls on public for face mask donations

Allina Health is asking for donations of factory-made N95 and ear loop masks, as well as hand sewn ear loop masks. Instructions on how to make hand sewn masks can be viewed at allinahealth.org/coronavirus.

Masks can be donated 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily starting Sunday, March 22 through April 5, Donations sites are at most Allina Health hospitals, including River Falls and Regina Hospital in Hastings. Details on specific locations at each facility will be available on allinahealth.org.

Wis. suspends utility rules

Gov. Tony Evers on March 22 issued an emergency order suspending several utility-related administrative rules, paving the way for the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin to temporarily order further consumer protections amid the COVID-19 public health emergency. The order can be found here.

“It is critically important to give people flexibility during this emergency, when paychecks might be disrupted, to keep the lights and heat on and water flowing,” Evers said. “We’re making sure that folks don’t have to make the critical choice between keeping their utilities on and paying for other essentials.”

St. Croix Valley COVID-19 Response Fund established

A COVID-19 Response Fund for the St. Croix Valley has been established as a collaboration between the St. Croix Valley Foundation , United Way St. Croix Valley and United Way Washington County East. The Response Fund will support community organizations responding to COVID-19 related needs in Chisago and Washington counties in Minnesota, and Burnett, Pierce, Polk and St. Croix counties in Wisconsin. For more information or to give online, visit https://www.scvfoundation.org/covid-19

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