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Minnesota Emergency Operations Center update: Five more Minnesotans have died bringing total fatalities to 17; average age of victims is 84.
• Total of 689 lab-confirmed cases in Minnesota – up 60 cases from March 31.
• Since the start of the outbreak, 122 patients in Minnesota have been hospitalized; 54 patients currently hospitalized with 27 in the ICU; the rest are recovering at home.
• See the latest situation report on the Minnesota Department of Health’s website.
• There were 1,274 calls to MDH public hotline on March 31. The public hotline is open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The number is 651-201-3920.
• There were 671,485 visits to MDH COVID-19 website on March 31.
Gov. Tim Walz announced that he will give his annual State of the State address on Sunday, April 5, at 7 p.m. from the Governor's Residence. Though he originally planned to deliver the address on March 23, the COVID-19 outbreak required that it be postponed to a later date. You can tune in on local news or his Facebook page.
Gov. Walz also announced that the application process for emergency grants for child care providers is open. This funding was proposed by the Governor and Lt. Governor in partnership with the Governor’s Children’s Cabinet. “These grants will be critical in ensuring that child care continues to be available to first responders, health care workers, and so many other folks responding to the COVID-19 emergency,” Walz said. There are approximately 420,000 children under the age of 12 who live in a household of an essential worker within a critical sector. Of these, the state estimates that during this peacetime emergency, about 270,000 children will need care and approximately 120,000 are likely to need and use licensed child care settings. Visit greaterminnesota.net/childcare to learn more about grant availability.
Minnesota Employment and Economic Development: Over the past few weeks, several state and federal programs have been built to assist small businesses struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic. Different programs make sense for different businesses, so we’re providing this summary guide to help small businesses quickly see which programs might be right for their situation. mn.gov/deed/newscenter/press-releases/?id=425890
Duluth Transit Authority changes: In an effort to continue providing our essential transportation services as we face the challenges of Covid-19, the DTA is announcing new changes effective Sunday, April 5. The essence of these changes will be weekday service moving to the same “limited” schedule currently offered on Saturdays. This will still include the continued cancellation of routes 4 and 5, along with route 15 remaining “dial-a-ride format.” The Sunday limited schedule remains unchanged. Importantly, the last trips of the evening Monday through Saturday are just after 9 p.m., leaving downtown. The last trips of the evening on Sunday are just after 7 p.m. also from downtown. We will now offer a shuttle that will run from 10:10 a.m. to 6:10 p.m. each day, including Sunday, departing Miller Hill Super One for Menards and Walmart at :10 and :30 past each hour in an effort to connect these areas impacted by the schedule modifications. These changes come in addition to the free fare, rear-door boarding, facility modifications, and other efforts already implemented to address the current pandemic. The public can find details on these and other changes, at DuluthTransit.com.
Duluth Community Garden Program: All events and in-person gatherings are canceled until the end of April, at which point we will see where things are and evaluate what steps to take moving forward. All DCGP staff are working from home until further notice, so the best way to reach us is to email. Staff will check the office voicemail and mailbox once a week, so any calls will be returned, it just may take longer than usual. Checks for plot and tilling fees and donations will be received by mail. Plot sign-ups are open to the public. You can sign up for a plot on our website, duuthcommunitygarden.org. If you need assistance filling out the online form, please email us. As we will not be in the office to receive checks, please make payments on our website via PayPal if possible. We realize that COVID-19 is impacting the incomes of some of our community members, and want to remind you that we never turn away any gardener due to inability to pay the plot fee. If you want to rent a plot this season, but don’t have the resources to pay the plot fee, please contact us to make other arrangements. Please also note that our plot fee chart is a guideline for appropriate plot fees. You know your own financial situation better than we do, so choose the income bracket you feel is appropriate. Please email Starr with any concerns regarding program fees.
Sexual Assault Awareness Month: The Program for Aid to Victims of Sexual Assault (PAVSA) recognizes April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month. PAVSA is launching a series of digital Public Service Announcements, developed by the local marketing agency, Hailey Sault. This campaign re-introduces PAVSA to the community and highlights five essential victim rights. The right to: (1) Have an advocate at no cost (2) Have a sexual assault exam at no cost (3) Decide which part of that exam are right for them (4) Report to the police or not (5) Know the status of the sexual assault kit Please know that PAVSA’s 24/7 Helpline (218-726-1931) remains available to all victim-survivors and their family and friends. PAVSA’s Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANEs) continue to respond when victim-survivors of sexual assault present at the four local emergency departments (St. Luke’s Duluth, St. Luke’s Lake View, Essentia St. Mary’s Duluth, and Essentia St. Mary’s Superior). Our advocates are working from home, and our office will remain closed until the end of April. Advocates are available for virtual check-ins from 8:30 am – 4:30 pm via chat, phone, or video call on the online platform gruveo.com/@pavsaduluth For more information on Sexual Assault Awareness Month, follow us on Facebook: facebook.com/pavsaduluth. Instagram: instagram.com/pavsaduluth/?hl=en Twitter: twitter.com/PAVSADuluth
2021-22 proposals sought: The Duluth Art Institute invites all local, regional, and national visual artist or artist collectives, not currently enrolled in a degree-seeking program to submit proposals for the 2021 and 2022 exhibition season. Applications reflecting the field of contemporary art and practice will be considered for three gallery spaces housed on the fourth floor of the Saint Louis County Depot. Those applying are welcome to visit our John Steffl, George Morrison and Corridor Galleries and allowed (not required) to consider two or three of the spaces for simultaneous use. Gallery floor plans are available on our website under artist services and artist opportunities.
The deadline for submissions is 11:59 pm on June 3. Apply via Submittable.com with an artist statement (500-word limit), exhibition proposal (500-word limit), artist resume or CV (pdf), and up to 10 high resolution images of your artwork (saved as: artist’s last name-first-name-title, and either jpg, tif, gif or png), and including up to one three-minute video.
Duluth Art Institute Virtual Artist Talks: Beginnning April 1, at 7pm, you can watch a series of virtual artist talks. The first Q&A will be with Andy Messerschmidt and DAI Exhibitions Director, Amy Varsek. To see other exhibitions that are virtually on view and to participate in the artist talks, follow us on Facebook. Andy Messerschmidt, Creepy Crawl: Andy Messerschmidt’s work reflects popular culture’s consumption and hoarding of images. Individuals are massing collections of photos online, images representing a life we wish to be living, maintaining facades that can bring personal conflict and stress. His kaleidoscopic realms layer assorted objects with backdrops of wrapping paper, hand drawn mazes and elaborate patterns. Messerschmidt likens the gallery to a temple, reasoning that artwork is elevated simply by appearing in the space. His paintings therefore become the alter, “Shrines to ornamental multiphrenia.”
DAI Summer Camps: Register now for our half and full day youth summer art camps. From ages 6 to 17, there is a creative camp for everyone working with different mediums such as fiber, photography, ceramics, and more. All full day art camps will end with an art show of the student work on the last day of camp, Friday at 3:30 pm.
Duluth Playhouse updates: We still have high hopes we will be able to deliver many shows scheduled for the 2019-2020 season across all our venues. We have a few more updates regarding scheduled events in April: April 19 - Comedy Shorts with the Classic Film Series – postponed April 25 - Mental Health Concert featuring Cloud Cult - postponed Summer Camps – we hope to be able to go on as scheduled; please watch emails. Postponing and canceling events is very hard, emotionally and financially. Though most important is the safety and well-being of the entire community. All currently issued tickets will be honored for rescheduled dates, but with that in mind, if you are not able to attend one of the rescheduled productions or if the production is canceled, we do kindly ask that you consider making your ticket purchase a tax-deductible donation back to the organization instead of a refund.
Superior Hiking Trail Association: Our staff and board are paying close attention to the information and guidance related to virus provided by public health officials. With the Governor's recent "Stay at Home" order in effect through April 10, we've updated our recommendation to SHT users: please hike in place. That is, rediscover your OWN city’s or county’s parks and trails. And keep your distance! We’ve also indefinitely postponed our annual trail clearing weekends and other trail projects scheduled for the month of May until we can be certain that our staff, contractors and volunteers can be as safe as possible when they join us on the Trail. We will share updated plans and opportunities to get involved through our new Volunteer Portal. Read more details in our most recent update at superiorhiking.org/covid-19-update-from-shta/
Yoga North online: SomaYoga can be beneficial to lots of people who can't make it down to the floor for some yoga poses. Gentle Chair SomaYoga, Fridays at 11am, starting April 3, will explore the yoga practices of breath, physical movement and relaxation from a seated posture. This makes the class safe and gentle for all bodies. No need to have any yoga experience, just a sense of curiosity and willingness to learn. Props needed: A sturdy chair (no wheels) preferably without arm rests; yoga mat or carpet to place chair on (to avoid slipping); blanket; yoga blocks or tall cans, or boxes; a strap (yoga strap, tie, dog leash, robe belt, etc.) Register at yoganorthduluth.com/classes with a financial contribution to support Yoga North. Or just join us if you need this right now. Join Zoom Meeting with the following link: zoom.us/j/365158984 Or, open Zoom Cloud Meeting app and join meeting with ID: 365 158 984.
St. Louis River Alliance: The alliance is grateful to be the Round-Up Recipient for the April GIVE Program at the Duluth Whole Foods Co-op. All you have to do is share your spare change at the register to help us continue our important work of protecting, restoring and enhancing the St. Louis River Estuary.
SAMI Cultural Center: Since the Winter Project Day was canceled due to the coronavirus shutdown, the center is asking crafters to share their projects online, Send 1 to 3 photos of your work – weaving, knitting, carving, photography, sewing, beading, writing, felting, jewelry, pottery and more – along with your name and a description of the project to email@example.com, and we’ll post it on our Facebook page, beginning April 3.