UPDATED: Local closures and cancellations due to COVID-19 concerns
March 20, 2020
Local closures or cancellations due to coronavirus/COVID-19 concerns are listed below and updated on a continual basis, with listings starting with the most recent cancellations, plus recommendations to slow the spread of the virus. Please email [email protected] to share information about your event or organization. Find a broader collection of listings on other regional television, radio and newspaper websites:
Community Memorial Hospital
During the COVID-19 pandemic, CMH patients will be restricted to one visitor at a time unless the patient is in hospice or end-of-life care. Pediatric patients can have two guardians with them. No children are allowed to visit unless the patient is in hospice or end-of-life care.
No visitors are being allowed at Sunnyside Health Care Center and no outside food is being accepted. This will be in effect until further notice, due to the coronavirus.
CMH is announcing cancellation of most of its current classes. The status of the classes will be reassessed in mid-April.
Carlton County is still open for business, but with a few changes to access.
- Beginning March 18, access to the Carlton County Extension Building on Chestnut Street in Carlton and the Carlton County Transportation Building will be closed to the public until further notice. Please call either building with essential service requests.
- Access to the Carlton County Motor Vehicle Registration Office at the Community Services Building in Cloquet will be closed to the public until Monday, March 23 in order for space modifications complying with social distancing recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Health to take place. Longer than normal wait times are anticipated for service.
- Staff in buildings that are still open to the public are practicing social distancing (6 feet apart), and proper personal hygiene before services are provided. Since March 19, custodial staff have adjusted their cleaning routines to begin at 9 a.m. with focus on repeated cleaning of higher-traffic spaces and frequently touched areas in Carlton County buildings.
- In general, people are asked to limit their visits to any County building to essential services and transactions only, and not if they are sick. Calling first is also recommended
Sixth District Court - Carlton County
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the judicial branch has also made some adjustments to its usual procedures that were effective March 16.
- All court facilities shall remain open. Service windows at court facilities will also remain open, and courts will continue to accept filings in all case types. The Judicial Branch discourages the public from making any non-essential visits to court facilities.
-Each judicial district will identify cases by priority, and proceed with “super-high priority” and “high priority” cases.
-Other than those cases, and cases subject to a speedy trial demand, no new jury trials will be scheduled.
-Jury trials that are already underway will continue to conclusion.
-Courtrooms and court proceedings are still open to the public.
-As practicable, proceedings in any case type should be held through interactive video conference or other video or telephone conferencing.
-Other district proceedings are suspended through March 30.
Cloquet Area Fire District
CAFD buildings are closed to public access for now.
CAFD car seat clinics for March and April clinics are canceled, but people are encouraged to call Public Education coordinator Sarah Buhs and she will help teach guardians and make sure seats are correctly fitted. Contact Buhs at 499-4258, ext. 27. Find out more at http://www.cloquetareafiredistrict.com.
Cloquet public buildings
While the city of Cloquet will remain open for business to provide essential community services, public access to its buildings are suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That includes City Hall, the Cloquet Police Department, the Cloquet Public Library, Public Works, the Senior Center (except for food pickup) and even Northwoods Credit Union Arena. Staff are available by phone and email, payments can be made by mail and internet, and some appointments can be scheduled. Find details about each department at http://www.cloquetmn.gov.
Cloquet Public Library
Residents can still check out library materials. Staff will continue to monitor the customer service phone (218-879-1531) and email ([email protected]). Patrons can contact the library with questions or to request library books, movies or other materials. Items will be checked out to patrons and placed in the lobby for pickup within one hour of a request. Patrons are asked to return all borrowed materials in the outdoor book drop. Fines for overdue and lost books will be waived until further notice. Check out the library website at http://www.cloquetlibrary.org for the online catalog, lists of ebooks and audio magazines, homework help, research materials, career resources, genealogy and more.
Cloquet Police Department
The Cloquet Police Department will continue patrolling and response to emergency and 911 calls for service. Lower-level offenses that don’t necessitate an officer response will be handled via telephone or online. Non-emergency calls for service to 218-384-4185 will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Call 218-879-1247 to schedule an appointment for permits and other services. There is a phone to contact dispatch in the entryway on the parking lot side of the City Hall/Police Department building at 101 14th Street. Find more detailed information on police changes on page 17 of the March 20 Pine Knot News.
Father James B. Bissonette, diocesan administrator for the Diocese of Duluth, announced additional temporary measures to help stem the spread of Covid-19 on Tuesday.
In the new directive, all public Masses are suspended through April 20, effective Friday, March 20. (Priests may celebrate a private Mass without a congregation.) In addition, the diocese has cancelled all gatherings of more than 10 people and said that even in smaller gatherings, those vulnerable or showing any signs of illness should stay home, and all present should practice good hygiene and “social distancing” policies such as remaining six feet apart.
The document also contains guidance for Holy Week liturgies, as well as questions regarding first Communions, confirmations, and funerals.
Father Bissonette said that confessions and office hours should continue to be made available on a regular basis, that churches should be open for an extended period each day so people could come individually and pray, and reiterated guidance for keeping Sundays holy when Mass is not available. He said the clergy and faithful should continue to visit and care for the sick, including through providing the sacraments.
He noted that the measures could extend beyond April 20, or should conditions improve more rapidly than expected, that they could be lifted at that time.
Black Bear Casino and Resort
Black Bear Casino and Resort and Fond-du-Luth Casino in downtown Duluth will temporarily close, starting at 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 18, for at least 14 days, according to a press release from the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, which owns and operates both casinos.
Conditions will be reassessed before a reopen date is determined. No cases of COVID-19 have been reported at either property, this is a preventative measure to ensure the safety of the community.
County Seat Theatre Company
This month’s play, “The Boys Next Door,” which was scheduled for March 27-29 and April 2-5 and has now tentatively rescheduled for May. The Carlton High School play has also been postponed for now. Decisions on other scheduled events will be announced.
At CornerStone State Bank, they are temporarily suspending lobby access at all of the Cornerstone branch locations. Access to the lobby will be by appointment only. These changes will go into effect Wednesday, March 18, and will remain until further notice given the evolving concerns around COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) and to help support community health management efforts, bank officials noted in a press release March 17.
Community Memorial Hospital
CMH is announcing several class cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The status of the classes will be reassessed in mid-April. Classes cancelled include:
Diabetes Prevention program and the information session scheduled for April 1st is cancelled.
Living Well with Diabetes
Living Well with Chronic Conditions
A Nesting Place is cancelled through the end of May. Organizers will reassess in May whether or not to continue.
Also, no visitors are being allowed at Sunnyside Health Care Center and no outside food is being accepted. This will be in effect until further notice, due to the coronavirus.
Refire: Refire Luncheon meetings and Refire UP activities are canceled until further notice. Questions? Call 218-879-9238.
Retired men’s lunch: The March meeting of the Retired Men’s lunch at the Cloquet VFW is canceled. They will reassess for April.
Eagles Burger Night: The March 19 Eagle’s Burger night at the Cloquet VFW is canceled. They will reassess for April.
West End Flourish: The April 2 and 3 workshops with artists have been canceled. Questions? Contact Emily Swanson at [email protected]
All-K-12 schools: Gov. Tim Walz announced Sunday, March 15, that all K-12 schools in the state must be closed by Wednesday, March 18 to plan for transition to distance learning. Classes (likely online) will resume March 30. See story for more.
High School basketball tournaments: The Minnesota State High School League has now canceled both the boys and girls state basketball tournaments, as well as boys section basketball tournaments, because of ongoing coronavirus concerns. The notice went out at 10:57 a.m. Friday, March 13, after a notice yesterday stated the tournament would be played, but with limited spectators.
Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College: Minnesota State Chancellor Devinder Malhotra announced Thursday that all Minnesota State colleges and universities will suspend classes an extra week following their spring break. At FDLTCC, that means classes will be suspended March 23-29 following spring break March 16-20. Additionally, Malhotra said all events or other gatherings totaling more than 100 attendees are cancelled until May 1, and the situation will be re-evaluated.
Here is a portion of Malhotra’s announcement: “... the 32 Minnesota State colleges and universities that are currently on Spring Break will suspend classes March 16-22, with classes resuming March 23. The five Minnesota State colleges that have Spring Break scheduled the week of March 16-20 will suspend classes March 23-29, with classes resuming March 30. While there will be no classes during each campuses’ extra week, administrators, faculty, and staff will spend that week exploring alternative modes of delivery and adjust campus learning spaces to ensure the safety of our communities. All campuses, including residence halls, dining facilities, and student support services will remain open and appropriately staffed, including student workers.”
Minnesota Wilderness: The North American Hockey League (NAHL) announced Thursday, March 12, that all 2019-20 NAHL regular season games have been paused until further notice due to the COVID-19 virus and outbreak effective immediately.
“This is an unprecedented time and situation,” said NAHL Commissioner Mark Frankenfeld. “First and foremost, we want to be sure we are doing what is best for the hockey community: players, teams, fans, and officials. In the past 24 hours, it became clear that we needed to follow a path that was consistent with what has transpired in the hockey world, particularly with our partners at USA Hockey, the NCAA, the NHL and the USHL.”
DFL convention: The Democrat-Farmer-Labor party District 11 Convention scheduled for March 21 in Barnum has been canceled.
State science fair: State science fair will be held virtually. State Science & Engineering Fair (previously scheduled for March 26-28, 2020) and the Junior Science & Humanities Symposium will both be held virtually, according to the Minnesota Academy of Science. On its website at mnmas.org, MAS stated that it is working hard to ensure that all aspects of the Science Fair included in the in-person format will be reflected in the virtual format in some way, as much as possible. Students can still win awards, qualify to attend ISEF, and receive feedback from judges.
UMD, St. Scholastica: Several four-year colleges in the area won’t be holding “in-person” classes for awhile.
The University of Minnesota leaders announced Wednesday, March 11, that the system is extending spring break (happening right now) at its campuses in Duluth, the Twin Cities and Rochester until Wednesday, March 18, and suspending all in-person instruction after that. Classes will resume either online or some other alternative method.
Also Wednesday, the College of St. Scholastica announced it will extend spring break for students until Friday, March 20, 2020. Beginning March 23, 2020 all classes will be offered in a virtual format.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation has announced – in accordance with guidance from state health officials – that the agency will indefinitely postpone all public meetings and project open houses statewide to prevent further spread of COVID-19 and protect the health and well-being of all Minnesotans. This includes all MnDOT-hosted events for at least the next 30 days.
A reminder: Cancellations are part of the plan to slow the spread of the coronavirus
The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) announced a series of community-level strategies to help slow the spread of novel coronavirus in Minnesota communities.
Key items on the list include:
-Event organizers cancelling or postponing gatherings with 250 or more people, including concerts, conferences, professional and amateur performances or sporting events.
-Event organizers cancelling or postponing smaller events (those with less than 250 people) that are held in settings that do not allow social distancing of 6 feet per person.
-Event organizers limiting attendance to no more than 10 people for events where the majority of participants are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
-People and families at higher risk of severe COVID-19 illness staying at home and avoiding gatherings or other situations of potential exposures, including travel.
-Employers making telework arrangements for workers whose duties can be done remotely.
-Employers staggering work schedules and limiting non-essential work travel.
-Health care facilities and assisted-living facilities more strictly limiting visitors.
-Faith-based organizations offering video or audio events.
-Hospitals and other health care facilities implementing triage before entering facilities (for example, parking lot triage, phone triage, and telemedicine to limit unnecessary visits).
Shopping for groceries and other items is not affected by these recommendations, although it is a good idea to limit close contact when doing so – and people who are sick should not be shopping or using transit. They should stay home until they recover.
The recommendations to avoid mass gatherings do not pertain to normal operations of airports, bus and train stations, medical facilities, libraries, shopping malls and centers, or other spaces where 100 or more people may be in transit. Even so, people in high-risk categories (the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions) should consider limiting such activities.
According to Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm, these recommendations show that every Minnesota resident and organization has an important role to play in protecting our state from the risks of this disease.
“We know these strategies will impact the lives of all Minnesotans, but we are hopeful we can reduce the impacts of this outbreak by working together,” Commissioner Malcolm said. “All Minnesotans share the risks and the responsibilities now.
"For everyone, the responsibility first and foremost is to stay home when you are sick,” Commissioner Malcolm said. “I want to make it clear that this applies to everyone – no exceptions during a serious outbreak like this. For communities and organizations, the responsibility means making temporary adjustments to events, operations and activities to help make person-to-person transmission less likely.”
The virus that causes COVID-19 is spread primarily by respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how influenza spreads. It can also spread when people touch contaminated surfaces and then touch their eyes, nose or mouth. More information can be found on MDH’s Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) website. MDH has set up a COVID-19 public hotline that is open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The hotline number is 651-201-3920.