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The small town of Plato, MN no longer has a fire department for the time being due to COVID-19 cases. Plato is located in the southwest part of the Twin Cities with a population of a little over 300.

The Plato Fire Department made an announcement on their Facebook page about suspending operations for the time being. They said that they are closing due to many of their staff testing positive for COVID. FOX9 reports that "three-quarters of their 20-person volunteer crew have either tested positive or were exposed to COVID-19."

FOX9 also writes that this is the first time that a Minnesota fire department has had to suspend operation due to COVID. The Plato Fire Department is now tapping "into its mutual aid agreements" and getting help from nearby towns.

On their Facebook post, the fire department lists all of the neighboring resources that will be helping out while the fire department is closed. They also say that that "will be monitoring all calls and working with [their] dispatch center to call mutual aid assets as needed."

Tracy Montgomery, the mayor of Plato, said that protocols were being followed, masks were being worn, so this is not because of someone not following the rules.

Eventually, the Plato Fire Department will reopen but they are closely monitoring the situation in order to make sure they do that safely.