PCF won’t be used for COVID-19 hospital

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By Reed Anfinson
Swift County Monitor-News

Swift County-Benson Health Services and Appleton Area Health Services were notified verbally last week that the Prairie Correctional Facility in Appleton will not be used as a site for COVID-19 patients.

Two local hospitals were working with health care facilities in Montevideo, Dawson and Madison to renovate one pod of PCF specifically for COVID-19 patients. They had made initial renovations to some cells as they waited for state approval from the State Emergency Operations Center for use of the prison.

District 13 state Sen. Andrew Lang, R-Olivia, told the West Central Tribune April 14 that he was told Minnesota wouldn’t need the Prairie Correctional Facility because the state is not seeing the surge in cases it feared in March. The projected number of cases means not as many beds dedicated to COVID-19 patients are likely to be needed in the coming weeks.

Still, in Monday’s press conference updating COVID-19 cases in the state Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz acknowledged that the number of cases, deaths and people admitted to intensive care units is increasing...


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