The mission of the Cook County Chamber of Commerce is to be the representative voice of county for-profit and non-profit businesses in working to improve the county economy and to address pressing county socioeconomic issues.
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The staff at Visit Cook County has started constructing a critically important online list of businesses that are open, their hours of operation and restrictions on their services, such as "take-out only," etc. If you have information  you would like added to the list  you can call Visit Cook County at 218-387-2524 or email

You can find the VCC list HERE

The more comprehensive this list becomes, the better. Listings for businesses in Schroeder, Tofte, Lutsen and points east to Grand Portage are needed.

Thanks to the VCC staff for their brilliant effort.


Here is an update from Supt. Bill Crandall on how ISD-166 is responding to Gov. Tim Walz' order that schools be closed from March 18 through the end of the month:


Good Morning Cook County Families,
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, in his address on Sunday at 10:00, has closed school districts around the state starting on March 18, 2020 through March 30, 2020. As a District we will be following the recommendation of the Governor with students staying home starting on Wednesday, March 18, 2020.
I want to update everyone on how we have and will be handling and responding to this closure.
●  As a school we have been planning for different scenarios to make sure we are ready.
●  This last week we followed the recommendation provided by the MDH regarding the COVID-19
○  Regularly sanitizing surfaces throughout the days
○  Educating students in washing hands, covering coughs and sneezes.
●  Monday 3/16 and Tuesday 3/17 - The school will be working with students to prepare for distant
learning. It is important that our students and teachers continue with learning.
●  Staff will be available for students on Wednesday and Thursday via Google Classrooms, Email and classroom extensions as the staff will be on site planning.

The health and safety of our students and staff is a top priority and we will continue to work with families to provide educational activities for our students through Electronic or Distant learning activities. Our teachers have been working on this delivery model and will be ready to work with students during this time. As a District, we will be looking at how to continue to provide meals for students. We will be working with our food service staff on our method of delivery during the time of school closure.
We are in close contact with the MDH to continue making plans through this evolving situation. Please keep in mind that our school district will follow the recommendations from MDH and could change at any time. The district will continue to communicate with families via Email, Phone, Texts using Infinite Campus, School website, WTIP, Boreal, Instagram, Facebook, and the district App.
Superintendent Bill Crandall

Andy Slavitt is a Minnesotan and former head of the federal office for Medicare and Medicaid. He put together a bunch of interesting tweets on the coronavirus. I've pieced them together as best I could:

Slavitt: Last night I was on with state & local officials around the US well into the night. By March 23 many of our largest cities & hospitals are on course to be overrun with cases. I am going to prepare a memo for them. I will share highlights here.

They are highly dependent on the public response so I will start there. We have no immunity to COVID-19, people who get it don’t know for a while, and for each person that gets it, they infect 2+ people.

You may have seen graphs that look like this (see image above). It shows how far behind Italy we are tracking in days & how our trajectory compares. The US and every country that hasn’t taken better preventive measures like S Korea & Japan is directly on course, lagging 2 weeks behind.

This is what it looks like in Italian hospitals. Every report describes this as a tsunami. And if it happens like a tsunami, in major cities we will have 10s of thousands more cases than we have beds & we will have 1 ventilator for every 8 people who need one.

What are mayors, governors & their staffs reporting? That people are jamming the bars. I get it. Home from work. Cooped up. Crisis mentality. We need to let steam off. Shared experience. But stop that. All the bars & restaurants are closed now across Europe.

The only way to prevent Italy given our lack of testing is to socially isolate. Congress even allocates money for people to stay home. That rarely happens. But we blew our chance at containment.

Let me flip to my advice to mayors and governors. The first thing I’m going to start with— expanding medical capacity— has to be done but will only make a tiny difference if we don’t self-isolate.

Hospitals must get rid of elective procedures, expand negative pressure rooms, move ventilator capacity to hot spots & seek additional where possible, create isolation negative pressure rooms, get tests 4 every front line worker, get masks & other supplies even on black mkt.

Get on the phone with someone from Seattle ASAP to talk through every thing they went through, ran out of & wish they had done. Build tents to spec, commandeer hotels and arenas. Hire ppl losing work to sanitize everything.

State officials in some states wanted to screen at their international airlines and the Trump Admin did not/could not support them. Now we must consider stronger measures: for stage 3 countries, auto-quarantine. Consider shutting airport temporarily for 30 days.

We can’t afford 10,000s of thousands to be hospitalized at once so we need to prevent & slow down the pace. And if this sweeps through nursing homes, it is fatal to our loved ones.
Nursing home infection control is terrible to begin with. And they are better than elder care or senior living facilities. The death rate among those >80 who contract COVID-19 is 18%.

From every expert I have talked to, I am less convinced that schools should be closed. Either way, open or closed, there are about 8-10 items that need to be considered including meals, childcare (keep granny away), parent sanity. I recommend giving parents the option.

The Federal gov finally got the supply chain to produce tests figured out. Testing availability should double in the next week. It is unlikely to be sufficient for a number of weeks beyond that— at least 4, but up to 8 I’m told privately.

Stay socially isolated for real. Not for you, but for everyone. And if someone minimizes this all, patiently listen & explain. People can’t be bullied.

On this page, we will endeavor to provide  up-to-date information and links to help businesses and others deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. 

On Wednesday evening, March 12, we invited experts from Sawtooth Mountain Clinic, North Shore Health and the Cook County Department of Public Health and Human Services to talk to business folk from the county about preparing for and managing the expected arrival of the coronavirus and the respiratory disease it causes, COVID-19. You can watch that video HERE.


Gov. Walz and Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm held a press conference Friday in which they announced new strategies for slowing the spread of COVID-19. You can read the Department of Health press release explaining those new strategies HERE.

Unfortunately, a good deal of false information, rumors and scams is running around the Internet. It is extremely important in keeping yourself well informed that you make discriminating choices about where you get your information. And please be especially careful about checking out what you read before passing it along to others. Here are three excellent places to learn the latest about the coronavirus and the disease it causes, COVID-19:

THE federal Centers for Disease Control 


The Minnesota Department of Health

Mn. Dept. of Health COVID-19 info for businesses and employers

Website by Katherine Hellner and Sandra Schutte of Two Dogs in the Web, LLC