Tri-Valley's Carlson: ‘We must all do our part until herd immunity is achieved'

Crookston Times

    While I would dearly love to send out an update that doesn’t mention COVID-19, I’m not able to do that and won’t be able to for some time yet. So, COVID-19 is where we begin this month...again.

    We were fortunate to have several Head Start centers selected for participation in the State of Minnesota pilot program for vaccinations in the middle of January. While not all eligible staff were able to receive a vaccine, we certainly have a good start in some of our centers. Also, we were contacted by Polk County Public Health at the end of the month to get a list of our bus drivers so they could be vaccinated. That was certainly welcome news as our drivers have kept the buses moving EVERY DAY since the pandemic began.

    As welcome as this vaccination news is, it is important to remember that the supply of vaccines in our communities and the different priority levels of our staff mean that it will likely be several months until all staff who want a vaccine receive one, just like the U.S. population in general. Therefore, it is important to continue to stay vigilant in regard to following the precautions of social distancing, frequent handwashing, wearing a mask, as long as they are recommended. It will be easy to start to become lax as more folks are vaccinated and if virus activity is lower where you live, but we must all do our part until herd immunity is achieved. We expect that guidance will evolve as it has throughout the pandemic and we will do our best to make sure staff are aware of any changes to recommendations that are applicable to our work.

    Now that the obligatory COVID-19 update has been delivered, I can share a little news about a couple of projects that we have been working on through the NW Minnesota Council of Collaboratives. First, we are embarking on a change in our Family Partner Project brought on through partnership with the Northwestern Mental Health Center. This partnership is being formed in the name of sustainability for the Family Partner Project. I cannot share details just yet, but we are excited and grateful for the opportunity to try and keep the Family Partner Project going in our area. The other program update I have to share is that the STOP School Violence project we are hosting for the Council of Collaboratives finally looks to be moving forward. We are excited to help lower the threat of violence in the 24 school districts within the 8 counties that make up the Council of Collaboratives. There will be more to share on this project in the coming months.

Jason Carlson