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Area health care providers receive emergency grant funding

COVID-19 cases rise in Lyon, Murray counties

MARSHALL — Area health care providers — including several southwest Minnesota hospitals — will be receiving funding from emergency health care grants, the Minnesota Department of Health said Tuesday.

In a conference call with members of the media, MDH officials said the department has issued $97.55 million in COVID-19 Health Care Response Grants. A total of 360 grants were awarded to groups including hospitals and clinics, in-home care providers, assisted living centers and ambulance and transportation providers. The MDH said about half of the health care response grant funds went to health care providers for additional staffing. The next biggest portion of the grant money was going toward medical supplies, including personal protective equipment.

In March, the Minnesota Legislature approved a total of $200 million for health care grants to help with COVID-19 response. That included $150 million for health care response grants, and $50 million for short term emergency funding to help health care providers with cash flow.

A few of the grant recipients listed on Tuesday were health care and transportation providers in Lyon County. Prairie Home Hospice and Community Care received a grant of $40,894. Sanford Tracy and Sanford Westbrook Medical Centers received a grant of $141,505. The Cottonwood Ambulance Service received a $21,750 grant.

Other grant recipients from around the area included the Hendricks Community Hospital, Pipestone County Medical Center, the Renville County Hospital and Clinics, Sanford Canby Medical Center, Sanford Jackson Medical Center, Sanford Luverne Medical Center, Sanford Worthington Medical Center, and the Windom Ambulance Service.

According to the MDH’s website, there are still funds available for health care response grants. The MDH will continue to review applications for grants until all funds have been spent.

The news about the health care response grants came at a time when COVID-19 cases around Minnesota have continued to rise. However, MDH Commissioner Jan Malcolm said, “We are continuing to do well by the metric of case doubling time.” The amount of time it takes for the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Minnesota to double has gotten longer. The state is now at a doubling time of about 16 days, she said.

Lyon County now has a total of 36 confirmed COVID-19 cases, and Murray County also has 36. Lincoln County has reported a total of 5 positive COVID-19 cases, and Yellow Medicine County has reported 6.

Statewide, there have been 932 deaths reported due to COVID-19. A total of 598 Minnesotans are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, and 260 of those people are in intensive care, the MDH said. Over 16,000 people who tested positive for coronavirus have recovered and no longer need to be isolated.

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