Archive for News

Needed: your snowbird stories

In Search Of: local snowbirds.
We would like to do an article about what local snowbirds are encountering as they cope with COVID-19. (What factors are they considering? Are they able to stay where they are longer if they want to?)
Please contact Staff Writer Nancy Dashwood at with information, or for further details. Thank you.

Zero incidents of COVID-19 transmission from print surfaces

According to Earl J. Wilkinson, Executive Director and CEO of the International News Media Association (INMA) there has never been a documented incident whereby the COVID-19 virus has been transmitted from a print newspaper, print magazine, print letter, or print package, according to the world’s top doctors and scientists. Follow the link below for more information.

Cokato City Council conducts emergency meeting March 19

COKATO – Interim City Administrator Brad Potter confirmed the City of Cokato has officially declared emergency status.

“The City Council held an emergency meeting last night to declare a local emergency as it pertains to city issues such as agreements, contracts, and equipment,” Potter said Friday morning. “We also believe this is crucial in taking the action in case there is any possible regional, state, or federal funding in due time to COVID-19.”

“Public safety services will continue to operate,” Potter said.

Cokato Public Works will continue essential services such as water treatment, water distribution, snow and ice removal (in case it is needed), and wastewater system and treatment.

Cokato City Hall is currently taking calls and emails, and processing requests.  Utility bill payments are currently being accepted in the drop box.  Cokato City Hall and its conference rooms are closed to the public.

The Cokato Library is closed.

The Cokato Museum is closed.

Watch here for further updates.

Cokato to conduct emergency city council meeting

COKATO, MN – Mayor Gordy Erickson has called an emergency of the Cokato City Council in the community room (upstairs) at Cokato City Hall, Thursday March 19 at 6:30 p.m.
The purpose of the meeting is to discuss issues concerning the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

City of Dassel declares community health emergency

DASSEL – The City of Dassel has officially adopted a resolution declaring a community health emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The city council met Tuesday evening to discuss the situation, and to ensure the city had a plan in place for keeping citizens safe.
Mayor Ron Hungerford wanted to make sure residents understand the city is taking these steps to promote safety, reduce concern, and ensure the city continues to operate and provide vital services to residents.
The council wanted to stress that the following city buildings will not be accessible to the public until further notice:
• Dassel City Hall and the Community Room;
• Dassel Library;
• Dassel History Center, Museum, and Community Center;
• Public Works buildings.
The Liquor Store will remain open until further notice.
City employees will be reachable by phone and email.

The full, three-phase emergency plan will appear in the Friday, March 20 Enterprise Dispatch.

Hutchinson Health and HealthPartners announces changes to help reduce COVID-19 transmission

Hutchinson, MN — Hutchinson Health and HealthPartners today announced that it is taking additional steps related to identification, treatment and safety of patients, care teams and the community that will help prevent and slow the spread of COVID-19.

Elective surgeries. Postponing all elective surgeries, procedures and non-essential radiology services through April 3, with no surgeries being scheduled until after April 27.
Dental appointments. Suspending non-emergent dental appointments that were scheduled between March 17 and March 29. For emergency procedures, dentists will evaluate a patient’s needs by phone and determine if the patient should be referred to a clinic for emergency care.
Office visits. Changing some routine office visits to phone calls or rescheduling.
In addition, based on recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Health in response to a national shortage of COVID-19 testing materials, HealthPartners and Hutchinson Health is suspending testing in the ambulatory clinics,

urgent cares and emergency centers for patients not requiring hospitalization. Our emergency rooms don’t have the ability to do COVID-19 testing unless patients require hospitalization.

We are closely monitoring state and federal guidelines and will continue to provide regular updates about changes to care delivery operations. For the most current information, go