5 things to know today: COVID loan fund, blue-green algae, contact tracers, RiverView Health, Grand Forks prison

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A Grand Forks committee on Monday, August 24, gave the green light to a $ 1.4 million federal loan program aimed at helping some of the community’s smaller businesses overcome the coronavirus.

The city’s Growth Fund committee voted unanimously to approve a draft plan for funds, which the city received under the CARES Act earlier this year and which are specifically aimed at helping businesses run. the economic effects of the pandemic.

The North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality earlier this month issued warnings of harmful algae blooms for Stump Lake, South Golden Lake and Mount Carmel Dam in the northeastern part of the state .

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Grand Forks Public Health employs 20 contact tracers – either regular employees who rotate for contact tracing assignments, or employees hired specifically for work related to COVID-19. The GFPH is also assisted by a group of statewide contact tracers from the North Dakota Department of Health, North Dakota State University, University of North Dakota and other local public health services.

The construction of the new RiverView Health hospital and clinic in Crookston is complete, and the work crews are landscaping the grounds and putting the finishing touches on the exterior.

The healthcare provider plans to begin staff training at the new facility shortly after August 28, and the first patients will be in hospital on Sunday October 25, said Chris Bruggeman, chief operating officer of RiverView Health. . The new clinic will open on Monday, October 26, he said.

All employees at the Grand Forks County Correctional Center tested negative for COVID-19 in a mass test last week.

Prison administrator Bret Burkholder said around 40 tests were administered to employees on Saturday August 15 and Tuesday August 18. The prison was informed that all tests returned negative on Sunday, August 23.

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