From Page 1 “We are hopeful that the vaccinations will enable us to begin to return to normal, or some semblance of normalcy,” he said. “We are grateful to the work of Dakota County and hopeful …
From Page 1 “We are hopeful that the vaccinations will enable us to begin to return to normal, or some semblance of normalcy,” he said. “We are grateful to the work of Dakota County and hopeful that the Legislature will find commonality to ensure that the businesses and restaurants and all of the people who have been adversely affected in the last year can be made a little more whole.”
He continued, “It was a pleasure to be at the virtual city council meeting on Monday evening to see Jen Fox become a new member of the Hastings City Council and wish Mayor Mary (Fasbender) and the council all of you in Hastings that we can continue to work effectively together to ensure all the people in the Second Congressional District are all-served at all levels of government.”
State Sen. Karla Bigham switched focus to state items.
“Obviously the biggest thing is the reopening of bars and restaurants at 50 percent capacity, no more than 150 people, you can have two people at the bar, sitting at the bar and then 10 p.m. is when things have to be closed down of in-person,” she said.
She’d like to see restrictions remain flexible for downtown areas in the future.
“I’m on the Local Government Committee, and I think that one of the things I’m going to work on to try and help Hastings and with the League of Minnesota Cities and after having a conversation with (Hastings) Councilmember Tina Folch is allowing the outdoor space to continue,” she said. “It would be helpful and give more flexibility to downtowns. It’s one of the League of Minnesota Cities’ suggestions,, and we’re going to see if we can work them through that Bigham said the Legislature was expecting more information on the vaccine rollout and distribution in the state.
“We have to work together, and the businesses have certainly done everything that they can with masks and sanitation and reservations and everything else. So now we’ve got to get this vaccine rolled out and get people vaccinated. There’s definitely a light at the end of the tunnel.”
Hastings Dakota County Board Commissioner Mike Slavik said the county board acted fast to do all it can to help local businesses.
“We as a county board went and created our own special county program for bars, restaurants and liquor license holders that were impacted by the executive order. We set aside $2 million of county funds to do a very quick $5,000 grant to businesses that hold a liquor license within Dakota County.”
He said the county worked hard to get to all 320 eligible businesses for the grant. He also said state funding of $8.5 million will allow for funding its fourth round of business grants under COVID-19.
He said Dakota County Public Health is working hard at vaccination.
“In terms of the vaccine, I think that you’re going to hear a lot of frustration coming out. We’re not doing that bad as a state. It’s just we should doing better,” said Slavic. “Dakota County Public Health is all in. We have over 50 certified public health nurses able too give this vaccine. We actually have a vaccine clinic. A lot of our law enforcements and EMTS are now heading into Dakota County Western Service Center in Apple Valley to receive that.”
The vaccine is changing perspectives as it makes its way through health care employees then to long-term care residents and then essential workers.
“The very first people in Minnesota who received their vaccine now received their second doses. Things are looking positive. I was joking with our Public Director, and I said I haven’t seen her this positive in six months. There is some optimism even if we’re not quite there. The fact that we were able to get some vaccines in December and January, that’s a positive. We just have to figure out how to get more of them.”