Koochiching County COVID-19 Resources

UWNEMN COVID-19 Crisis Funds raised in Koochiching County will stay in Koochiching County.  Click here for more information.

The financial assistance application for Koochiching County individuals who have lost their jobs or had reduced hours due to COVID-19 is now open. Click here for more information.

Koochiching County COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Resources

The COVID-19 pandemic affects every one of UWNEMN's Focus Areas: helping children succeed, empowering healthy lives, and stabilizing families and individuals. Our staff is hard at work to respond to this crisis in a thoughtful, responsible way. We are monitoring the situation closely and staying in regular contact with our schools, agencies, and other community partners to continue to be a resource to you.

Communication is key in times of uncertainty like this. Please check back to this page often as details are changing rapidly given the fluid nature of the situation. 

Scroll through for updates, or jump to a section using the links below:
UWNEMN EVENT UPDATES
UWNEMN PROGRAM UPDATES

UWNEMN AGENCY UPDATES
COMMUNITY RESOURCES - FOOD
COMMUNITY RESOURCES - CHILDCARE
COMMUNITY RESOURCES - HEALTH
COMMUNITY RESOURCES - OTHER

 

UWNEMN EVENT UPDATES

  • Bucks for Backpacks cash raffle tickets are currently on sale to help purchase food for the Buddy Backpacks program. Every ticket enters you for a chance to win a share of $20,000 in cash prizes. Drawing will be broadcast on Facebook Live from the Sawmill Saloon & Restaurant October 8th. Need not be present or viewing to win. Tickets are running out - call 218-254-3329 or email elizabeth@unitedwaynemn.org to get yours today!
  • Bid Where You Live online auctions raised $15,344 for Buddy Backpacks this summer. Thank you to all who bid on packages, spread the word, and to auction item donors!

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UWNEMN PROGRAM UPDATES

  • Comforts of Home is currently unable to accommodate in-person appointments. If families or individuals in crisis are in need of home goods, referring agencies or caseworkers can email sarah@unitedwaynemn.org to arrange for UWNEMN staff to pack requested items for clients that can be made available for pick-up. If families or individuals would prefer to wait for in-person appointments to resume, email sarah@unitedwaynemn.org to get on a wait list for when the program resumes as normal.
  • Imagination Library will continue to mail books directly to children's homes on a monthly basis. If you have a child under 5 who is not enrolled in this program, this may be a good time to enroll them; click here to do soPlease keep in mind it takes 6-8 weeks for the first book to arrive. 
  • Smiles United dental program is operating strictly from community sites this fall and is in need of a community site in Koochiching County. (Contact info@unitedwaynemn.org or 218-254-3329 if you are a community site interested.) The program now serves patients of all ages. Updated precautions will be in place for this program due to COVID-19. Click here to learn more. To make an appointment, call 1-866-543-6009.
  • United for Veterans continues to operate as usual. If you are a veteran in need of assistance, please have your local VSO contact erin@unitedwaynemn.org on your behalf. 

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UWNEMN PARTNER AGENCY UPDATES

  • American Red Cross Minnesota is facing a severe blood shortage due to blood drives being canceled across the country. Red Cross has implemented additional precautions to ensure the safety of their donors and staff; if you're healthy and able, please consider scheduling a blood or platelets donation. To make an appointment, calll 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or click hereRed Cross offices in MN are closed, and free smoke detector installation is temporarily suspended. Those in crisis can still reach Red Cross staff in our region by calling 218-722-0071. All disaster response services remain in place and available to those impacted by disasters such as home fires or spring flooding.
  • Falls Hunger Coalition food shelf grocery hours are the same; however, clients receiving food will no longer be able to come in and shop, instead they receive prepackaged food. Client service hours are Tuesdays 10:00am – 4:00pm and Thursday & Friday 10:00am – 2:00pm. 218-283-8020.  Clients can call when they get to the building, and food will be brought out to them.
  • Friends Against Abuse walk-in traffic for advocacy services has been suspended, meeting with individuals on a case by case basis. Trained advocates remain available by phone 24/7 at 285-7220 or  888-344-3264. 
  • Koochiching Aging Options office remains closed. Groceries to You! volunteer shopping and delivery is in full operation. Call 283-7057 to register. Caregiver  and dementia support is available. Memory Cafe is meeting by partnered phone reassurance and staff contact. Call 283-7030. Out-of-town medical transportation program is suspended as is Tai Ji Quan. Senior Companion and Good Visit Programs are meeting by phone. 
  • Salvation Army International Falls office is closed to the public. Intake can be done over the phone. Limited funds are available for rent and emergency lodging, however ample funds are available through HeatShare and for medical expenses. The Salvation Army has packaged bags of food for kids and the elderly.  There are no income guidelines. Call 218-283-3394 to schedule a pick-up time. Food Pantry is still open by appointment only on Tuesdays and Thursday. 

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COMMUNITY RESOURCES - FOOD

  • AEOA is distributing free contactless boxes of produce in International Falls. Visit their Facebook page for more details.
  • Minnesotans with low incomes are now able to purchase food online using SNAP benefits. Click here for more information. 
  • All Super One stores ask that the public allow the first hour of service to be the shopping hour for the elderly, immunocompromised, healthcare staff, and first responders. 
  • All Dollar General stores have dedicated their first hour of operations strictly to senior customers so they can purchase items when shelves are stocked and cleaned and avoid crowds. Stores ask other customers to plan shopping trips around that window of time.
  • AEOA Meals on Wheels and Home Delivered Meals in International Falls and Northome continue as normal. Senior Dining in International Falls, Littlefork, Northome Jourdans Restaurant & Northome Shining Light Cafe are take-out only. AEOA may have a food service staff member going on leave in International Falls.  If anyone is interested and has ServSafe certification or food service experience, please contact marilyn.ocepek@aeoa.org or 218-748-7325.
  • Backus Community Center Community Café is serving pick up meals only, the dining room is closed.  Café guests can call 285-7225 by 4:00 pm the day of Community Café to reserve meals.  Pick up is from 5:00 to 6:00 pm Tuesdays and Thursdays.
  • Falls Hunger Coalition food shelf grocery hours are the same; however, clients receiving food will no longer be able to come in and shop, instead they receive prepackaged food. Client service hours are Tuesdays 10:00am – 4:00pm and Thursday & Friday 10:00am – 2:00pm. 218-283-8020.  Clients can call when they get to the building, and food will be brought out to them.
  • Good Samaritan Society Homecare continues to provide Homemaking services, including errand-running, grocery shopping, light housekeeping, and meal prep. Call 218-283-4319 for more information.
  • Koochiching Aging Options' Groceries to You! is currently continuing; must pre-register to use this program. Registered clients place orders Tuesdays between 9 am and 12 pm, and deliveries are made Wednesday to the outside door/vestibule only. Clients will be pre-screened before order is accepted, and volunteers will be pre-screened before shopping and delivering. Call 283-7057 or email KoochichingAgingOptions@gmail.com for Groceries to You! 
  • USDA is warning of SNAP scams arising to steal confidential information like social security numbers, bank information, or PIN numbers in order to qualify for COVID-19-related assistance. If you are unsure if a request for information is legitimate, call 1-800-657-3698. For a list of current potential scams, click here. If you believe you are the victim of identity theft, contact your local police department; you may also file a complaint online with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) by clicking here.

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COMMUNITY RESOURCES - CHILDCARE

For parents/guardians:

  • Click here for our early literacy video series, Story Time With UWNEMN. New videos posted every Wednesday at 10 am! 
  • For questions about childcare, contact the Child Care Aware parent line at 1-888-291-9811 to be directed to available licensed child care providers - or click here to search on a map.

For providers:

  • First Children's Finance conducted a webinar for child care businesses in our region to explore crisis management strategies for their businesses during COVID-19. To view the webinar - or for technical support, consulting, training, financial analysis and more - click here.

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COMMUNITY RESOURCES - HEALTH

  • Click here for a list of mental health resources during this time of self isolation from Mental Health Minnesota. 
  • Accra offices are closed to the public, but operations run as normal. All visits are conducted by phone or teleconference at this time.
  • Arrowhead Area Agency on Aging office is closed until further notice.  Call 1-800-333-2433  Monday - Thursday from 8 am to 4 pm. Outreach and training events are postponed including Senior LinkAge Line presentations, speaking engagements, health fairs, 1:1 options counseling and Evidence Based Health promotions classes and trainings offered through Juniper.
  • Essentia Health International Falls is encouraging patients not to come into the clinic for routine appointments. E-visits, telephone visits, and virtual visits available. COVID-19 screening available at no cost with an e-visit online. Call 1-833-494-0836 for more information. 
  • Fairview Range Homecare and Hospice continues to see clients in their homes and is taking new referrals and admits for both home care and hospice daily.  Nurses immediately screen for COVID-19 and have protocol in place.  Hospice care continues to be provided at Littlefork Care Center. 
  • Good Samaritan Society of Int’l Falls has implemented a no visitor policy unless a resident is at end of life. To send a note to a resident click here
  • Good Samaritan Society Homecare continues to accept clients for Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Nursing, and Homemaking. (Homemaking services include errand-running, grocery shopping, light housekeeping and meal prep.) Call 218-283-4319 for more information.
  • I Falls Family Planning is currently not taking walk-ins at the clinic. Call 218-283-6188 before coming to the clinic, and do not come to the clinic if you have any of the following symptoms: temperature 100 F or higher, respiratory symptoms, cough, difficulty breathing, known exposure to COVID 19, or awaiting test results for COVID 19.
  • Koochiching County Public Health and Human Services building is closed to the public.  For Human Services, contacts are made via phone or video conferencing (where available).  All critical services are still being provided, including Child Protection and Vulnerable Adults protection. Call 283-7000 for more information. Programs continue as usual, but most are available only by phone or email. Click here for more information on each program. Stay up-to-date with the county public health department by liking their Facebook page (click here). 
  • Northern Options for Women continues to meet with clients one on one for urgent needs (screening required).  Immediate needs include: diapers, wipes, pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, baby items, someone to talk to, cribs, etc.  Call 218 285-7673, call Vickie Bernard via Facebook, or message through the Facebook page (click here). 
  • Northland Crisis Counseling Center office is closed Fridays.
  • Northland Crisis Response Team services will continue to be 24/7/365; however, the delivery of the crisis services (ie. Face-to-face) have changed to phone and video only. When calling for crisis services, 211/First Call for Help will be notifying callers that services are phone or video only. Transportation by the crisis team is not available for any reason. The team is always available for calls. The crisis bed is unavailable at this time due to a sewer line break.
  • Rainy Lake Medical Center continues with telehealth visits and is opening up for more visits with precautions including limited visitors and pre-entry screening. Curbside COVID collection is taking place 12-3 pm Monday-Friday (call 589-5158). Telehealth will be added for mental health next month. Rainy Lake Medical Center is suspending its inpatient labor and delivery services effective April 15. In order to ensure that patients are able to establish prenatal care locally, Dr. Scott Johnson and OB-GYN providers from Sanford Health will be seeing patients at Rainy Lake Medical Center so expectant mothers can work with a provider of their choice to develop a birth plan.
  • Rainy River Recovery is doing meetings via telehealth.  The office is open, but staff is staggered. 
  • We Health Clinic is hosting an open house October 1 from 4:30 to 7 p.m.
  • West Falls Estates is currently closed to all visitors. Family members doing wellness checks, medical personnel (nursing, therapy), and deliveries are permitted.  All other visitors must be approved by management.

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COMMUNITY RESOURCES - OTHER

  • For a comprehensive and timely list of updates on COVID-19 in our state, the state's response, and state resources, click here.
  • If you are unable to work, have had hours reduced, or have lost your job as a result of this pandemic, you can apply for unemployment benefitsClick here for more information.
  • The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has begun making Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) payments to people who are self-employed, independent contractors, and other eligible recipients who are not eligible for regular unemployment benefits. Click here for more information.
  • Several state and federal programs have been built to assist small businesses struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here for a guide.
  • Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans' Duluth office is currently open for walk-ins for veterans without access to phones or compouters on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. If you are able to reach out from a phone or computer, please call 1-833-222-6228 or email mac-v@mac-v.org.
  • Disabled American Veterans (DAV) is offering $250 grants to service-connected disabled veterans who lost employment because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here for more information.
  • State grant funds are available for veterans who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here for more information.
  • Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services continues to run the Telephone Equipment Distribution program (TED), which provides telephone/telecommunication equipment to eligible Minnesotans at no charge. They continue advocacy and consultation for those with hearing loss as well as workplaces unsure of how to make communication accessible and also provide FREE mental health counseling to anyone in MN with a hearing loss. Click here for more information.
  • Koochiching County buildings are open with the exception of Public Health & Human Services and Probation.  For more information, click here.
  • International Falls Public Library has re-opened and is still offering pickups for those not comfortable coming in the building. Contact library staff by phone, through LiveChat, or email to request items for pickup. You may also send email attachments to the printer at ifallslibrary@hpeprint.com to pick up. Click here for more information. 
  • KOOTASCA Community Action office in International Falls is closed to walk-ins, but calls are being answered (218-283-9491) 8 am - 4:30 pm Monday through Friday. A secure drop box has been installed next to the main (side) entry for clients to drop off applications or necessary information. Head Start classrooms are in session, and applications for preschool aged children are still being accepted. A distance learning option is also being offered. Rental assistance may be available to eligible households. If you are falling behind on house payments due to COVID-19, please call 2-1-1 or text MNRENT or MNHOME to 898-211. Applications for Fairview Horizon Apartment Building continue to be accepted. Homeless households with children are encouraged to call 2-1-1 and ask for a Coordinated Entry, as they may be eligible for our Transitional Housing Program. Energy Assistance is currently accepting applications for this heating season. Please to request an application.
  • Legal Aid Service of Northeastern Minnesota cancelled all community outreach, in-person intake, trainings, and clinics. Offices are now closed to the public.  LASNEM is still open for intake by telephone and online and is still providing legal representation remotely and in court.  Agencies looking for any form of guidance regarding the frequently changing rules/policies should e-mail Heather Lindula at hlindula@lasnem.org.
  • For a comprehensive list of your legal rights amidst this crisis from Legal Services State Support, click here.
  • Minnesota Power has suspended disconnections. Please remember, while customers' service is not being disconnected, meters are still being read, and bills will still be sent. Contact Minnesota Power if you are having trouble paying your bill or have been disconnected and need to be reconnected: 1-800-228-4966.

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Please remember, if you are ever in need of help, the 24-hour United Way 2-1-1 line is available to help you find local resources that best fit your needs. (Call 2-1-1 or visit www.211unitedway.org for more information.)

UWNEMN's mission is "to unite and focus our communities in creating measurable results to improve people's lives and strengthen our families." This unity and focus is needed now more than ever. Please practice patience, thoughtfulness, and preventive measures in the days and weeks to come to keep yourselves, your families, and your neighbors healthy and safe