Readers write: COVID guidelines in schools, healthcare, business success and failure, crime

I am stunned by the refusal of our state agencies and school districts to adapt their policies to the new milder COVID variant and to recognize the minimal risk to healthy children.

My 5 year old son received his first injection of COVID the day after his 5th birthday and his second injection three weeks later. Well, go ahead! A child at his school (a preschool licensed as a daycare center) who was not sick took a COVID test and tested positive. The same day, the Viking stadium was packed.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines even allow adults who have recently tested positive for COVID to work if they are not sick, but my 5-year-old, who is not yet “fully immunized”, must miss a week school due to state health ministry guidelines that were made mandatory for licensing day care centers. After a long winter break, that means he only goes to school five days a month.

Democrats like to say they support families, child care and education, but now, placed in power in almost every state and local office, they are actively blocking my family from receiving child care and a coherent education. I wrote to elected officials for months to end the madness and only received responses in the form of “It’s not my job” or attempts to blame Republicans, who currently do not run any agencies. of state. How can these people apply for re-election, and how can you vote for the people who implement these policies?

Shari Albrecht, Saint-Paul


I was recently diagnosed with a medical condition which treatment will leave me immunocompromised for several months. Given the resurgence of the omicron variant and its contagiousness, I am very interested in the percentage of health workers who are vaccinated. In recent weeks there have been articles on the subject, particularly on December 12 (“Employers Hit pause on Workplace Mandates”, home page) and more recently on January 6 (“Mayo drop 700 over vaccinations” ) in which the same statistic was reported regarding Allina Health: “At Allina, 99.8% of workers have been vaccinated or received a medical or religious exemption from the mandate of the health system. “

When I asked my provider Allina if the staff who worked with immunocompromised patients were vaccinated, I could not get a simple yes or no answer, which was very disappointing to me. My advice: Instead of a meaningless statistic (99.8% of staff are vaccinated or have received an exemption), it is much more important to know how many staff have been vaccinated vs the number receiving a medical or religious exemption, in order to assess the risk of seeking services at a particular Allina facility. As health care consumers, we deserve no less.

Greg Larsen, Princeton, Minn.


Recent actions and plans raise the question of how accessible medical services are or will be to people in the greater eastern metropolitan area. The shutdowns of Bethesda Hospital and St. Joseph’s Hospital resulted in the dispersal of cardiovascular services to the suburbs and the dispersal of a well-trained healthcare team. Relocating the Minnesota Children’s Pediatric ICU to Minneapolis (“ICU to Move to its Mpls Campus.”, Dec. 31) will increase travel time, reduce system redundancy, and likely lead to dispersal and loss of staff. .

Given the closures and transfer of pediatric intensive care, it seems reasonable to have a public review and impact assessment on access to health care in the Eastern Metropolitan area.

Such a review could be performed by the Minnesota Department of Health. Some review should be done by Ramsey County and the City of St. Paul regarding the impact on access and the impact on EMS services. The Citizens League may be interested in investigating this matter.

A second concern worth considering concerns the fate of donations from philanthropic foundations to Eastern Metro hospitals for the improvement of Eastern Metro health care. Millions of dollars have been donated over the years, and there appears to be an obligation for donors to apply these funds to the Eastern Metropolitan Area given their source.

Dr Kent S. Wilson, St. Paul

The writer was chief of surgery at St. Joseph’s in 1978 and chief of staff at Children’s in 1987.


The Star Tribune’s business section reported on Monday that Target was posting double-digit sales growth at the end of 2021 and that its CEO Brian Cornell was being honored as a retail visionary (“For the leader at Target, everything is a team question “). In explaining the success of Target, Cornell spoke at length about things like embracing a culture of caring and growing and winning together. He expressed other platitudes as reasons for large earnings gains as well.

However, nowhere did he mention the U.S. businesses that were shut down by government warrant during the pandemic when his business was allowed to continue operating. Think of all the retail businesses that made their way to Target and a few others like Target while the independents and moms and dads were shut down – some for good.

Brian Cornell says it’s all about the team. No, this is not the case ; that’s not the whole story.

Earl Faulkner Sr., Edina


The ineffective response to the recent wave of carjackings, thefts and other violent crimes shows that it is foolish to expect a different outcome while using the same methods that have failed. against crime ”, January 11). The immediate problem for the public is to get the culprits off the streets. This is the job of law enforcement. Regardless of the age of the suspects, these people should be arrested and detained so that they do not return to the streets to repeat the behavior. The parents of these children should be located and interviewed to determine whether they are able to intervene on behalf of their children. If not, young people should be remanded in a structured living environment that provides safe accommodation, training and supervision.

It is not a punishment; it is behavior modification and it is the only way to change the trajectory of behavior that is detrimental to perpetrators and the rest of us. This program will cost money, a lot of money. It may also require changes in state laws. Prosecutors need flexibility and meaningful alternatives to jail for young offenders. Parents need help with income, child care, housing and health issues.

If taxpayers want safety, they must scale up and fund a process that goes beyond the punitive and destructive retaliation that is the current model. We are living the alternative which, if you ask victims of crime, mayors and the police, does not work.

George Hutchinson, Minneapolis


Regarding the recent spike in crime, Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said, “What we really need to start doing is working together to understand the complexity of the problem.”

I have a question for Choi. When you stand at the edge of your driveway after a snowfall and hold a shovel, “are you working to understand the complexity of the problem” or are you starting to dig? Solving this upsurge in crime is not complex. Bad people do bad things. The police arrest them. You prosecute them with all the rigor of the law so that the judges can put them in jail where they – and this is the most important part – cannot commit more crimes. Do your job, Mr. Choi.

Ryan Sheahan, Roseville

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