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Brown County board gets COVID-10 update

NEW ULM — Brown County commissioners got a variety of news from Brown County Public Health presenters Michelle Steinbeisser and Jaime Brand and Emergency Manager Shawn Stoermann Tuesday.

Commissioners learned that many of Minnesota’s 235 coronavirus cases as of Monday are related to international air travel and that most people with the disease are recovering at home.

Brown County Public Health employees said most of the calls and inquiries they get are about domestic air travel. People at higher risk for severe disease including older adults and people of any age with serious, chronic medical conditions including heart and lung disease or diabetes, are recommended to avoid all cruise travel and non-essential air travel, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) which is cited in the Minnesota Department of Health website, health.state.mn.us.

“If you feel you’re been exposed, you should follow protocol and stay at home,” said Commissioner Scott Windschitl.

The nurses said anyone with shortness of breath should quarantine for at least seven days, and at least three days after having a fever before returning to work.

The nurses stressed that healthcare workers with coronavirus got it from traveling. They urged parents to talk to their children about coronavirus.

The update included an urgent call for blood donations from healthy donors after they are found eligible by answering online questions.

“Thanks. You’re doing a very important job,” Brown County Board of Commissioners Chairman Dave Borchert told the women and Stoermann.

Commissioners also approved:

* A $315 per acre quote to spray county drainage ditches from L&M Road Services, All drainage systems with open ditch were quoted for ground spraying. They have buffers along ditches and ditch slopes that are sprayed with herbicide.DeAnglo Brothers bid $365 an acre.

* Authorized application for Hazard Mitigation Funds to acquire a Shag Road home along the Minnesota River using the funds, motion by Commissioner Tony Berg, seconded by Commissioner Borchert. The funding formula is 75% FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and 25% homeowner share for a project estimated to cost $276,000.

Home acquisition and demolition is usually less expensive than mitigation projects to repair river flooding issues, according to the request. Quotes to demolish the home, well/septic abandonment and associated costs are part of the project.

Commissioner Windschitl questioned the property’s land valued at $67,000. Commissioner Borchert said he felt comfortable and strongly supported the resolution Commissioner Berg said he didn’t think it was out of line.

* County Assessor Anne Grunert’s first quarter report. Grunert said agricultural land is up 5.6% and rural home values have risen.

* Appointing New Ulm attorney Andrea Lieser as a full-time assistant county attorney at $45.30/hr. Grade XIX, Step 8, 10% market adjustment effective April 8, motion by Commissioner Berg, seconded by Commissioner Windschitl.

Brown County Attorney Chuck Hanson said “it’s an amazing opportunity to get someone like Lieser with 10 years experience as a defense attorney to come to Brown County.”

Fritz Busch can be emailed at fbusch@nujournal.com.

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