ST. CLOUD -- While no one could predict the COVID-19 pandemic, the Stearns County Emergency Management team has been training for situations just like this.

Emergency Management Director Erin Tufte says they've had a pandemic training plan in place for about 12 years.

About 2008 we started with our pandemic planning to make sure we had the key components together we needed to make the important decisions when things like this happen in the community.

She says over time they've tested and made changes to the plan based on the latest technology and trends.

Tufte says the emergency operation center has been staffed for about two weeks as the COVID-19 sitaution develops.

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