Last Friday (May 1, 2020), we convened a virtual gathering to discuss the rural response to COVID-19. We decided to host this gathering because we were hearing from all corners of the state that the needs of rural Minnesota were not being heard in St. Paul. Up until that point, most of the cases of COVID-19 had been in the Twin Cities metro area. Now that COVID-19 is starting to spread in rural Minnesota, we felt that it was time to ask some questions of our state leaders to make sure that rural Minnesota is on the right path to beating the virus.
Our guests for this first webinar with state leaders were State Commissioner Steve Grove (MN Dept. of Employment and Economic Development), Commissioner Thom Petersen (MN Dept of Agriculture), and Zora Radosevich, director of the Office of Rural Health and Primary Care in the MN Dept. of Health. They discussed the situation for rural residents, which was followed up with a robust Q&A session using questions attendees were encouraged to submit beforehand.
Over 200 people registered for the rural response webinar, not bad for a summer-like late Friday afternoon. There were participants from the media, legislators, county commissioners, city council members and the like who tuned in for the hour-long discussion.
We’re hoping to convene more of these gatherings in the future to continue the discussion about the rural response to COVID-19. To make sure you don’t miss an invitation, please sign up for our news list.