GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. — 300 masks stolen from clinic in St. Paul
With the COVID-19 pandemic showing no signs of slowing this spring, health care facilities have been clamoring for personal protective equipment (PPE) like N95 masks so that staff can safely interact with patients. That includes Minnesota Community Care and its St. Paul location, La Clinica, which has served largely low-income residents on the city’s West Side for a half-century. A few weeks ago near the beginning of the crisis, La Clinica accepted a much-needed shipment of 300 masks – a one to two-week supply split into six containers. By the next day, the masks were gone. There was no sign of a break-in, and it remains unclear who took the masks or why. Minnesota Community Care chose not to involve local police and has continued to receive regular shipments of PPE.
Ashley O’Connell and Kayla Waldoch are labor and delivery nurses at the St. Cloud Hospital. Both nurses are worried about shortages of personal protective equipment – especially concerned for their nursing colleagues in small clinics and nursing homes without the procuring power of a larger hospital like theirs. On Facebook they found Adam Hagen. Adam's company, Prime Manufacturers, normally makes industrial vacuum devices and LED lighting for boats. But now, his machines are turning out face shields for doctors and nurses, co-designed by Adam and the St. Cloud nurses. After lots of back and forth on the design the first two boxes of shields are ready for shipping just a week into the process.
Between COVID-19, the Census, and now stimulus checks soon to go out it seems the world has become a scammer’s paradise. There’s a rumor floating around social media and the internet that not filling out your 2020 Census will impact whether you receive a stimulus check. The U.S. Census Bureau confirms that rumor is totally false. The official Census website states “Your answers cannot be used to impact your eligibility for any government benefits, including any potential stimulus package. The Census Bureau is bound by Title 13 of the U.S. Code to keep your information confidential, and the answers you provide are used only to produce statistics.” However, there is plenty of evidence that scammers will look to take advantage of the Census to try and steal personal information.