jburcum Profile picture
20 Nov, 18 tweets, 3 min read
Gov. Tim Walz COVID press conference underway. The focus is on mental health.
There is a 24/7 crisis text line available. Just MN to 741741
A nice contribution to this from Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan who notes that so many of us feel stressed during the pandemic and it's OK to reach out for help. "We have never experienced anything like this in our lifetime."
A Milaca, MN-based mental health providers urges parents to help kids who are struggling. Notes there are now telehealth services making it easier than ever to seek care. My take: This move is one of the pandemic's silver linings and its availability should be permanent.
Now up NAMI-MN's Sue Abderholden. She is concerned about kids losing access to mental health care and other services linked to their schools. Asks parents to watch for excessive fears or sleepiness, other inability to cope with daily life.
Here are the details about the Ikea mental health grants mentioned during this press conference. scribd.com/document/48516…
Onto questions... Gov is asked about gym/fitness center closures. A. Walz notes the high risk of indoor air and breathing hard (aeresol spread of COVID). Also a gathering places for many young adults who can be asymptomatic spreaders.
Next Q is about additional relief for businesses affected by COVID restrictions. A. Walz says pursuing this, notes that businesses who are closing are protecting the entire community. Walz says can't wait on Congress to get it done, asking commissioners to figure out solutions.
More on state aid: Walz says it won't be enough but these businesses need and deserve a lifeline.
Q. Is there any progress towards COVID relief happening in December #mnleg special session? Answer (me paraphrasing) doesn't sound like anything real solid but Walz feels positive about this.
Next Q on mental health... Abderholden says that children who had mental health concerns before the pandemic are struggling now.
Milaca mental health provider notes that some staff are quarantined with COVID but that telehealth allows them to continue providing services if they feel healthy enough to do so.
Great point from Sue Abderholden: mobile mental health providers have not been doing in-person visits. She hopes they are considered a priority as COVID vaccine becomes available.
Q on undercounting COVID cases in MN even with higher number of testing... A. Yes, state's high positivity rate continues to indicate there's more virus out there than what is being found.
MDH Commish Malcolm asked to estimate how many cases are not being found. Last spring, there was an estimate that for every 1 confirmed case, there were 10 others not found. Malcolm said that hasn't been updated but it's a good question.
Walz is asked about potential hospitality industry relief.. says he is focused on "cash on hand." Notes that anything with appropriation goes thru #mnleg. Says we as MN elected officials have responsibility to do what we can but real responsibility lies with the feds.
More: Walz says that pause is needed to protect hospitals from being overrun but understands well that there's pain involved for affected industries. Says "primal scream" needed to get Congressional attention, action.
Q. about Sanford Health CEO not wearing mask. A from Walz. Gov notes that this CEO is not a physician. Notes there's not solid data showing reinfection doesn't happen. Walz also says leadership also requires modeling behavior that you want to see.

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More from @jburcum

19 Nov
“Increase vigilance.” New call to action from White House COViD advisor Dr Deborah Birx. Now showing graphic where fall spike in cases much steeper than earlier waves.
Birx attributes sharp fall COVID spike to early cold snap in October and people being inside then.
Now: chart showing states’ COVID hospitalizations—- the Dakotas are the worst.
Read 21 tweets
19 Nov
Some hospitals are nearing the point of turning new patients away and some already. -- Chart shared by Gov. Tim Walz during MN state address happening now.
It's not just beds, or PPE or drugs or ventilators "Somebody has to administer those. And they're getting sick." Walz referring to health care providers. They are getting sick from community exposure not at work, he emphasizes.
some already are.
Read 15 tweets
17 Nov
The MN Governor's COVID briefing has begun... focus is not on numbers but on human toll this pandemic is taking.
First up is former State Rep. Nick Zerwas.
It was 8 days ago when a mild cough turned into something more severe, Zerwas says. Thought he was on the mend but developed difficulty breathing. His PULSE OXIMETER alerted him to dangerously low blood oxygen levels.
Read 27 tweets
16 Nov
Hospitalizations gone up 90% in last 10 days in Upper Midwest, Gov. Tim Walz says in today's COVID briefing. Says good news about Moderna vaccine is light at end of tunnel, but says we need to get all of us to that light at the end of the tunnel.
"Terrifying" is the word MDH Commish Jan Malcolm uses to describe global COVID numbers.
Based on current rate of growth, might get to 300K in MN by middle of next week .(Remember it took 27 weeks to get to first 100K, roughly six weeks to get to 200K, a point made last week by state health officials)
Read 31 tweets
21 Aug
15 COVID cases in MN linked to Sturgis, one is in hospital. MDH puts out call today during briefing to ask attendees to self-quarantine but more cases likely.
Another plea to "lay low" for students heading back to college, K-12. Evidence so far (looking at you, St. Olaf students) suggests the problem isn't before going back to college, but when the students are on campus.
More on MN COVID cases linked to Sturgis: 1 was employee at temporary bar and the remaining were attendees. Doesn't appear that there are commonalities at this point, such as eating at the same restaurant or staying at same campground. Those who became ill were in many locations.
Read 4 tweets
1 Jul
Now live tweeting the 1 p.m. Minnesota Department of Health COVID briefing. Please follow along. For full coverage go to StarTribune.com.
On the line: @mnhealth's Commissioner Jan Malcolm and State Epidemiologist Dr. Ruth Lynfield.
Globally: 10.4 mil cases, 511k deaths. US: 2.6 mil cases and 127K deaths. MN: 426 new cases, an increase about the same as yesterday. Test positivity is 3.7%, up a bit from prior week but still good.
Read 34 tweets

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