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Editorial: Tribune Thumbs

To the third COVID-19 death in Freeborn County and an increase in new cases.

We were saddened to hear news this week of the third COVID-19 death in Freeborn County, which is the second at Good Samaritan Society of Albert Lea.

The local deaths have included two people in their 80s and one in their 90s.

On Thursday, county health officials reported 25 new cases — the largest daily total since the beginning of the pandemic including 13 people between 10 and 20.

Albert Lea Area Schools officials announced Thursday the high school would switch to distance learning at least for a week as they review the situation. They said the high school had 12 new positive cases and the middle school had two.

They will review the decision next Thursday.

We encourage everyone in the community to stay vigilant in keeping up with health precautions to prevent the spread of the virus, not only for our seniors throughout the community, but for people of all ages.

It is simple to wash your hands regularly and to wear a mask when you are in close proximity to others. It’s also wise to avoid large groups of people where you cannot socially distance. 

To a proposal for apartments in the former Marketplace Foods building.

Developers came before the Albert Lea City Council Monday to present plans for a new housing complex in the former Marketplace Foods building at Skyline Plaza.

The developers said the plan includes up to 50 one- and two-bedroom market-rate units. The building would also have amenities for tenants such as an exercise area and a gathering space.

We think this is great news for the community as recent housing studies have shown a need for more housing in the area. We also believe this could spur further development.

We look forward to seeing this project move forward and hope the city and developers are able to work together to make it financially possible.

To free breakfasts and lunches for all students in the Albert Lea school district.

Thanks to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Albert Lea students can receive free breakfasts and lunches through the end of December through an extension in the Summer Food Service Program.

This will be beneficial to many families in the district, and will help struggling parents alleviate some of the expenses they might have had to otherwise pay to provide school meals to their children.