Local government and health and safety officials joined KRFO Monday afternoon to provide an update on the coronavirus pandemic and how it is affecting residents, plus what people can do to be as safe as possible. You can hear the full segment below.

Owatonna Mayor Tom Kuntz said holding these type of public information gatherings is crucial to inform the public. In keeping with the social distancing guidelines, all parties were on the phone and connected via a conference call.

Owatonna City Administrator Kris Busse said all essential city services are being handled, just some are happening in a different manner. Contact the city if you have questions. Find their website here. She added that the Owatonna Library, which is closed for the time being, is offering online story time.

Amy Caron with Steele and Dodge County Public Health says, as of Monday, there are three confirmed positive COVID-19 cases in Steele County. Two are people in their 40's and 50's who likely picked up the virus while traveling. A positive case for someone in the 20's seems to be a community spread situation. Caron emphasized the social distancing advice as an important way to slow the spread.

Owatonna Coronavirus Update, March 23 (Click the link to hear the segment.)

Emergency Management Director Mike Johnson said the situation is both a health and economic crisis. He said loans are being made available to small businesses from the government. He said a State of Emergency declaration at the local level leads to a daily exchange of information with public health officials and could lead to some reimbursement for costs incurred from the federal government.

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