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This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. Note the spikes that adorn the outer surface of the virus, which impart the look of a corona surrounding the virion, when viewed electron microscopically. A novel coronavirus, named Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China in 2019. The illness caused by this virus has been named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

In response to COVID-19 in Minnesota and Washington County, community television station Valley Access Channels (VAC) will be producing two roundtable discussions on the Stillwater and surrounding communities response to the virus.

The community leaders in the conversation about the pandemic in the first program, starting at 4:30 p.m., will include Denise Pontrelli, Superintendent of Stillwater Area Public Schools; Oak Park Heights Mayor Mary McComber; Stillwater Mayor Ted Kozlowski; and Robin Anthony, Executive Director of the Greater Stillwater Chamber of Commerce. 

The second program will begin at 6 p.m. and include Ted Wegleitner, President of Lakeview Hospital; Dr. Andy Dorwart, President of Stillwater Medical Group; and Lowell Johnson, Director of Washington County's Public Health and Environment department.

The live broadcasts on Monday, March 23, can be viewed on Xfinity Channel 14, streaming online at vactv.org/live as well as the Valley Access Channels Facebook and YouTube pages. Viewers are encouraged to leave comments or questions for the participants on the Facebook and YouTube streams.

“I am so impressed that VAC is doing this with a local emphasis,” said Marguerite Rheinberger, who holds an advanced degree in public health and was asked to moderate the discussion. “We need to know how we are being taken care of at a local level because we are inundated with worldwide information.”

For additional information, please contact Greg Piekarski, the program’s executive producer or Ted Leroux, program producer, at VAC at 651-430-2921

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