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Editorial: Tribune Thumbs

To increased COVID-19 testing opportunities.

The Minnesota Department of Health on Thursday announced a new COVID-19 testing site will open on Wednesday at the Albert Lea Armory.

The site is expected to offer the nasal swab COVID-19 test to residents and is intended as an expansion to free, no barrier COVID-19 testing. The site does not require insurance, and will test anyone — whether they have symptoms or not.

The Albert Lea location is one of 11 similar sites opening across the state.

Mayo Clinic Health System this week also announced it would expand the hours of operation at its testing location in Albert Lea because of a sharp increase in cases and demand for tests.

The site will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the East Annex, 210 St. Mary Ave.

We hope this expansion of hours, along with the new test site, will make it even easier for residents to test for COVID-19 if needed, and we hope residents take advantage of the opportunity in an effort to minimize spread of the virus.



To American Legion Riders Chapter 56.

Hats off to the members of American Legion Riders Chapter 56 who are part of a tradition of taking commemorative coins to veterans in senior living facilities each year.

Though this year their tradition is altered because of limited access to care facilities, the group is delivering those coins inside of greeting cards with handwritten messages in them.

As of earlier this week, some of the 300 coins had already been delivered to senior homes in Albert Lea, Blooming Prairie, New Richland, Lake Mills and Northwood.

The group has also started giving the coins to spouses of deceased veterans.

We thank the Legion Riders for taking the time to recognize these veterans and their loved ones, and we thank them also for their service.



To Albert Lea’s new city manager.

Welcome to new Albert Lea City Manager Ian Rigg, who started in his position on Monday.

Rigg was selected for the open manager position after the council interviewed four finalists in September. The position became open after former City Manager David Todd resigned at the end of May for personal reasons.

Rigg comes to Albert Lea from Evansville, Wisconsin, where he has worked as the city administrator/finance director for six years. Prior to that, he served as city administrator/clerk in Eldora, Iowa, for six years.

We are glad to have him on board for the city, and we look forward to seeing him out and about in the community. With the pandemic front and center now and in the coming months, we need solid leadership at the helm of the city.