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As the coronavirus situation changes, we are committed to maintaining essential city services to the community. Your safety and the safety of our staff is of utmost concern. We thank you for your understanding and cooperation during this unprecedented and difficult time.
We would like to give you an updated on city services and how they are provided to you.
We continue to follow the recommendations from the CDC and the Minnesota Department of Health. For our facilities offering limited services, we request that you follow our guidance for safe physical distancing.
We are being diligent about cleaning and sanitizing all of our facilities, especially in common areas and on counters.
We are processing building permits online. Some building inspections may need to be rescheduled. Others may be conducted via video or photo.
Bus tokens can be purchased at:
- Family Fare
- Just Food Co-Op
- Cub Foods
City Hall is open, however some offices within it remain closed. Call to make appointments for necessary administrative services.
Main phone: 507-645-8833.
Residents can renew their vehicle tabs by mailing or dropping off vehicle registration information through a drop box at Northfield City Hall.
The DMV is open.
State’s COVID -19 Relief Bill has extended the expiration date for valid drivers’ license, including instruction permits, provisional licenses, operator permits, limited licenses, and farm work licenses, and any Minnesota identification cards during the peacetime health emergency. Once the peacetime emergency ends, people with expired licenses will have two months to get a valid license.
Also, the deadline to obtain a Real ID is now October 1, 2021 and the criteria for identification proof was broadened.
Garbage and recycling
Pickup days for curbside recycling and garbage is normal.
DSI has normal service for bulk pickup, trash and recycling.
Northfield Hospital + Clinics is not allowing deliveries of items for patients or staff at Northfield Hospital. This includes flowers, food, newspapers and cards. This helps minimize the ways virus may enter the hospital – via items themselves, or delivery people.
Laundry and essential personal care items (like shampoo and body wash) may be delivered for Long Term Care Center residents and Medical/Surgical patients.
Vendors of hospital supplies are asked to please contact their department directly to discuss deliveries.
Northfield Hospital and Clinics is able to test any symptomatic patient and asymptomatic people (no symptoms) who have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID. Exposure is being within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes without a mask to a person who has tested positive for COVID.
More information is available on the health tips and resources section on this webpage.
The ice arena is open for scheduled times. Participants must follow COVID-19 protocols.
The library building is open and our online resources are open! If you or anyone in your household is sick or has symptoms, do not enter the library. Wearing a mask that covers your mouth and nose is required to protect library staff and other patrons. If you don’t have a mask, we’ll give you one to keep. Fabric masks are offered for free and are reusable. Limit your stay. Toys and many soft furnishings have been removed to facilitate a clean and sanitary environment. Library staff are cleaning and disinfecting at regular intervals throughout the day. Follow social distancing. Keep 6 feet from library staff and other patrons. Follow staff guidance, posted signs, and floor markings to ensure adequate spacing.
All programming and outreach events are suspended. We encourage you to take advantage of our electronic resources such as ebooks, movies and e-audio books. We are growing our robust online content to provide services.
If you don’t have a library card call the library Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for immediate access to our online content.
The Northfield Liquor Store is open with new hours. We are only accepting credit and debit card payments at the register. We continue to take measures to keep physical distancing and are diligent on extra sanitizing and cleaning throughout the day. We are also offering call ahead orders by credit card and able to meet customers at the door so they don’t have to enter the building.
Monday - Saturday, 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Sunday, 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Call ahead orders 507-645-5153
We are conducting City Council meetings via teleconferencing.
If residents would like to comment on City Council items, we recommend using the online commenting feature. Once the City Council agenda is published, the eComment link will be active. Residents can review agenda item details, indicate their position on an item and leave feedback by clicking on the eComment tab on the City Council meetings page
Comments may be submitted until noon on the day of the meeting. Residents may also use the Register to Speak option to sign up in advance to speak at the meeting.
Parks and playgrounds are open. Like other outdoor activities, going to parks is allowed under the stay safe order. However, park users must maintain at least 6 feet from anyone not in their household and avoid group play. Families and guardians should be careful to ensure children wash hands after touching play structures.
The Police Department is still providing public safety services but modifying some procedures.
For non-emergency services, please call 645-4477.
As always, for emergencies dial 911.
The pool is close for the season. Visit the pool page for more information.
No interruption in service. We are maintaining city streets.
Four options to pay:
- Pay utility bill online
- Phone: 1-877-885-7968 (Payment Service Network)
- Drop box - put payment in an envelope and drop in the drop box by west entrance.
Water and wastewater
The City water department are providing clean and safe drinking water. We continue to handle safe and sanitary management of waste from our wastewater plant.
Do not flush anything other than toilet paper and body waste down your toilet.
Want to help share our message? Use these materials to spread the message.
Social media images
Please download these images to use on social media. We appreciate your help sharing our message!
Posters and flyers
If we all work together, we can get through this crisis, and we can save lives. Following these simple recommendations will reduce the number of infected people in our community and slow the spread of the virus.
Protect yourself and loved ones from COVID-19
Please help do these simple things to be help our community:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds
- Stay home to protect yourself and others
- Care for mild symptoms at home
- Cover your cough
- Call your health care provider if you think you need care
- Physical isolation: avoid social gatherings of 10 or more; that means gatherings of neighbors, even if you all know each other; it means avoiding groups at the store
- Keep at least 6 feet between you and others
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
- Clean surfaces that you touch often
Pay attention to your mental health and reduce stress
- Maintain a healthy diet and exercise
- Create a regular routine
- Connect with family and friends through calls, texts, or video chats
- Get information from reliable sources
- Reach out if you need to talk to someone
- Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990
- "TalkWithUs" Text 66746
If you are sick
Northfield Hospital and Clinics is able to test any symptomatic patient at this time.
Health questions (7 a.m. to 7 p.m.) :651-201-3920 or 1-800-657-3903
The following is a list of current relief packages that small business may use during the Coronavirus outbreak. The Northfield Economic Development Authority (EDA) encourages all to support our impacted businesses directly by using the take-out and delivery options.
Staff is being attentive to the changing business climate, and monitoring Federal and State agency relief that may be offered. These programs are being developed and rolled out as quickly as possible.
Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce
We are coordinating with the Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism and will work together to distribute information to the business community during this critical time. We are also coordinating with the Northfield Chamber to understand local business impacts and realize there are immediate impacts and longer-term ones we cannot currently predict.
Guidance on Stay at Home Order
Temporary expansion of outdoor dinning area
Limited outdoor service is now allowed.
Interested restaurant and dining establishments must complete an application to extend their service area onto City owned property or right of way. The application must be reviewed and approved by the City before the expansion takes place.
Northfield Economic Development Authority (EDA)
Governor Walz Executive Order 20-15 allows the Northfield EDA to use the existing Minnesota Investment Fund (MIF) dollars from EDA Fund 293 to offer emergency loans to local impacted businesses. Currently, the Northfield EDA has a balance to offer in loans. EDA staff is working internally to discuss potential options for local support, if feasible. Any emergency program would need to be approved by the EDA Board.
EDA staff is working with existing EDA loan holders to discuss potential loan deferrals. Staff is working with First National Bank, who administers the EDA loans, to develop language and forms for possible deferrals. Any loan deferral would need to be approved by the EDA Board.
Staff continues to examine opportunities for local support. Staff has limited capacities due to assisting with other city services for COVID-19 responses and maintain daily operations. Any ideas for possible assistance can be shared with Economic Development Coordinator, Nate Carlson.
CARES Act funding
Businesses and nonprofits looking for financial relief due to COVID-19 can apply for CARES Act funding through the City of Northfield.
Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provides for payments to state, local and tribal governments navigating the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. The City of Northfield received approximately $1.5 million through the federal CARES Act. The Northfield City Council is allocating $300,000 in grants for businesses and $200,000 in grants for nonprofits.
E-Commerce Grant Program
The Northfield Economic Development Authority (EDA) approved a $15,000 grant program for restaurants, eateries and retail shops in Northfield to help them build their online commerce presence.
Rice County small business grant
Rice County has allocated $50,000 for funding small business grants to assist locally-owned businesses operating in Rice County with the costs of business interruption caused by required closures, voluntary closures to promote social distancing measures or those small businesses that are affected by decreased customer demand as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency. The grants will be made available on a first come, first serves basis and will be available to Rice County businesses with less than 50 employees. The individual grant amounts will be up to $3,000 and can be used to stabilize and maintain business, for uses such as technology updates. The grant application period will be open for 60 days, or until funds are exhausted.
Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED)
Guide for Minnesota small business who need help
Over the past few weeks, several state and federal programs have been built to assist small businesses struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Different programs make sense for different businesses, so we’re providing this summary guide to help small businesses quickly see which programs might be right for their situation.
Minnesota Small Business Relief Grants Program
This program will make available $10,000 grants to Minnesotan owned and operated businesses that can demonstrate financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Awards will be disbursed and administered by qualified local and regionally based nonprofit organizations. Grant funds received by individual businesses must be used for working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility bills, and other similar expenses that occur or have occurred since March 1, 2020, in the regular course of business. These are grants and no repayment will be required.
Applications will be accepted from Tuesday, June 23 through Thursday, July 2.
Small Business Emergency Loan Program
The Department of Employment and Economic Development is working with the Governor’s office to receive SBA funding through the disaster declaration from the Federal government. Executive Order 20-15 directs DEED to create a Small Business Emergency Loan Program by making available $30 million from special revenue funds. These dollars will be used by DEED’s lender network to make loans of between $2,500 and $35,000 for qualifying small businesses. The loans will be 50% forgivable, and offered at a 0% interest rate. If other financing becomes available to small businesses that received an emergency loan, such as federal funding, the emergency loan must be repaid. Applications will be available by March 27, 2020. These emergency loans will be made by an existing network of lenders DEED works with across the state.
All potentially impacted businesses should send questions about this emergency loan program to the Emergency Loan Program.
The executive order also allows local units of government or lending partners, which have a revolving loan fund to use those funds, to issue loans to retail and service providers for the next 90 days.
DEED does have existing programs that may assist with small business through the Emerging Entrepreneur Program or Indian Business Loan Program. DEED gave permission for cities to use their MIF dollars for emergency loans.
Minnesota Unemployment Insurance (UI)
The state of Minnesota office for Unemployment Insurance offers assistance to employers avoid layoffs. The program offers paid unemployment benefits to offset part of employees reduced wages.
DEED is encouraging all employers impacted by COVID-19 to communicate to their employees that unemployment insurance is available. All employees who are laid off or furloughed should be applying for unemployment insurance. The State of Minnesota Office for unemployment insurance has ensured impacted workers that unemployment insurance is available and flexible for all those impacted. Minnesota Unemployment Insurance also has a shared work program that offers paid unemployment benefits to offset part of employees reduced wages. Eligibility for this program requires that businesses UI Tax Account balance be paid in full, workforce of business cannot be seasonal or temporary, and owner/officer information must be up to date.
Unemployment insurance for self-employed people and independent contractors
The CARES Act, that passed Congress, has funds in it to be given to self-employed, independent contractors, and others that would not normally qualify for unemployment insurance. This is known as the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program. The Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has begun to issue payments to people that qualify for this program.
If you have already applied for regular unemployment benefits, you do not need to do anything extra to qualify for PUA. DEED will automatically establish a PUA benefit account for you if you are eligible.
If you have not applied for unemployment benefits yet, special instructions for self-employed and 1099 workers are available. These instructions include steps you can take to make your account easily identifiable as potentially eligible for PUA.
If you applied for unemployment benefits without following those instructions, don’t worry – you don’t need to change anything. Your account will still be reviewed for PUA eligibility.
If you have not heard from DEED yet, don’t worry. They expect to be in touch with most people who are eligible for benefits under PUA by the end of April. There is no need to call or follow-up; you will hear from them proactively if they need additional information to determine eligibility. You will receive information about PUA benefits in your online account, by email, and by mail. Applicants who receive PUA benefits will also receive the $600/week additional payment.
PUA benefits will be backdated to whenever you first became eligible due to COVID-19.
U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is preparing to unload $50 billion to states and U.S. territories by offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital. The SBA is working with each state’s governor to issue relief packages to the state’s small businesses. Businesses can now apply directly to the SBA for funds. The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) is working tirelessly to ensure that Minnesota businesses have the ability to apply for these emergency funds from SBA. Federal policies are changing every day, and staff is following these developments at all times. Currently, a federal stimulus package of $2 trillion is being debated in Congress.
About this program
- This program can provide low-interest loans of up to $2 million to small businesses and private non-profits.
- These loans can go toward working capital to meet needs including payroll, accounts payable, and fixed debt payments that cannot be paid due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The current interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses. The non-profit rate is 2.75%.
- These loans have long-term repayment options, up to a maximum of 30 years.
Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Toolkit
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce put together a resource summary for small business to adhere to during the outbreak.
Staying connected even though where physically apart
As the coronavirus situation develops, and we are avoiding public places, and keeping six feet apart, we are needing new means of social interaction more than ever.
There are ways to stay connected without compromising your health or the health of others. Now is the time to get creative and create new habits.
- Pay attention to your neighbors and friends who may be especially vulnerable to isolation. These may be people who are at risk, or who simply have lost their regular points of social contact
- Reach out by phone or video chat.
- Offer to deliver groceries of someone who is at high risk (leave on porch).
- Identify neighbors who may need assistance getting medications refilled.
- Share local resources with those who don’t have access to the internet.
- Check in with friends; many people are experiencing a lot of stress right now, and knowing someone’s thinking of them can be a big help.
Donating homemade face masks and personal protection equipment (PPE)
Rice County is asking for donations from residents and businesses of homemade face masks and other personal protection equipment (PPE), as there is a very high need and an even greater shortage of these items. Donations received will be distributed to all first responder agencies throughout Rice County including law enforcement, fire and rescue, and ambulance services. Items will also be distributed to healthcare facilities, nursing homes, assisted living, group homes, childcare providers, school workers providing childcare and food services, food shelf employees, and other essential employees and entities that are providing direct services to members of the public.
Items to donate
Donation items must be in new, unused and unopened condition.
- Homemade face masks - placed inside a Ziploc style bag
- Surgical style face masks
- N95 face masks
- Disposable gowns
- Disposable exam style gloves in all sizes
- Disinfecting wipes
- Hand sanitizer
- Disinfectant cleaning supplies
Locations to drop off donated items
Should you have any items you wish to donate, drop boxes will soon be located at the following locations. Drop boxes should be installed by April 17, 2020. Until the drop boxes are installed, you can call toll-free 1-833-643-7423 to make arrangements to drop off any donation items you may have.
- Lonsdale Police Department, 115 Alabama St SW, Lonsdale
- Morristown Public Works/Sheriff’s Office Building, 109 2nd St SW, Morristown
- Dundas Highway Shop, 590 County Road 1 E, Dundas
- Rice County Government Center, South Entrance Doors, 320 3rd St NW, Faribault
Making homemade masks and PPE
If you need help in finding these opportunities, The Community Action Center is collecting names of people who are willing to volunteer. Visit their website to learn more and to register for their contact list to be contacted as volunteer needs arise or as some volunteers step aside to rest, heal, and quarantine in the days and weeks to come.
If you have healthcare expertise, janitorial skills, or sanitation supplies, they can use you immediately. Please contact the Community Action Center:
Shop our local stores and restaurants, either online or by phone. Get take-out or delivery.
Please respect neighbors by only purchasing the necessary amount of food and other necessities such as toilet paper. If you have extra and are aware of others in need please share with them.
Donating blood products is essential to community health and the need for blood products is constant. As part of our nation’s critical infrastructure, healthy individuals can still donate in areas that have issued shelter in place declarations. The Red Cross follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and volunteer donors are the only source of blood for those in need.
There is no known end date in this fight against coronavirus and the Red Cross needs the help of blood and platelet donors and blood drive hosts to maintain a sufficient blood supply for weeks to come. In times of crisis, the Red Cross is fortunate to witness the best of humanity as people roll up a sleeve to help those in need.
Don’t know where to start?
United Way or call 211 or text MNCOVID to 898211
Discrimination, mistreatment and human rights or call 651-539-1133
Child care and family
Rice County Social Services 507-332-6115
Places of worship
School and childcare questions (7 a.m. to 7 p.m.): 651-297-1304 or 1-800-657-3504
DHS hotline for childcare providers: 1-888-234-1268