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Posted on: March 23, 2020

Updates on COVID-19 from the Governor's Office

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Below is an update on the COVID-19 pandemic as it pertains to Minnesota as of 7:30 PM on 3/31/2020.

Updates from the Governor

Governor Walz today signed two Executive Orders, which extend licenses for first responders and allow the medical cannabis program to continue safely serving Minnesotans during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Executive Order 20-25 extends licenses for peace officers, firefighters, and private security personnel. The Order allows professionals on the front lines combating COVID-19 to maintain their licenses and continue supporting Minnesotans during the peacetime emergency.

Executive Order 20-26 extends enrollment dates that are set to expire over the next several months for current medical cannabis patients; allows any patient to request a temporary caregiver so they are able to send someone to pick up medication on their behalf; and allows medical cannabis patients to practice social distancing with curbside delivery and telephone pharmacist consultations. This order will help keep immunocompromised individuals safe and lessen the burden on busy healthcare providers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a reminder, the Governor’s new website is a great resource for anyone looking for answers related to COVID-19.


Below is an update on the COVID-19 pandemic as it pertains to Minnesota as of 5:00 PM on 3/30/2020.

Updates from the Governor

Governor Walz today announced Department of Administration Commissioner Alice Roberts-Davis will lead the Administration’s procurement operation for COVID-19, and direct the State’s efforts in procuring critical lifesaving care supplies. Commissioner Roberts-Davis will focus on managing inventories, securing needed supplies such as personal protective equipment and ventilators, and developing solutions to offset supply shortages for hospitals and emergency responders. Her strong background in procurement and public-private partnerships will serve Minnesota well in the weeks and months to come.

Governor Walz also thanked educators who started their first official day of distance learning today and reiterated that the Stay At Home order does not mean anyone should stay somewhere unsafe. There are places of sanctuary open for anyone facing abuse or violence. Minnesota’s statewide crisis hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1.866.223.1111 or by text at 612.399.9995.


March 30, 2020

Below is an update on the COVID-19 pandemic as it pertains to Minnesota as of 8:32 a.m. on March 30, 2020.

Updates from the Governor

During challenging times, Minnesotans look out for one another. We’ve compiled a few ideas on how you can contribute to your community right now. Below, you can also find resources to help anyone struggling with health coverage, rent, unemployment, child care or a small business.

MNsure – Governor Walz and MNsure announced a 30-day special enrollment period (SEP) for qualified individuals who are currently without insurance. The SEP opened on March 23 and runs through April 21. It will allow uninsured individuals 30 days to enroll in health insurance coverage through MNsure.org.

Unemployment Insurance – We know the hardships and stress this pandemic is bringing to families and folks throughout the state. The Governor expanded the state’s unemployment insurance program, wich can provide quick relief for employees who are unable to work as a result of COVID-19.

Deadline extensions – Minnesotans filing their annual Minnesota Individual Income Tax return for 2019 have until Wednesday, July 15, 2020, to file and make payments without any penalties or interest. The deadline to apply for the REAL ID has also been pushed back by one year.

Small business assistance – Governor Walz has established a Small Business Emergency Loan Program for businesses affected by COVID-19. The program administered by the Department of Employment and Economic Development will help Minnesota small business owners who need immediate assistance during COVID-19 closures.

Suspension of evictions – The Governor has also signed an Executive Order clarifying that landlords and financial institutions cannot begin eviction proceedings that would remove tenants from stable housing during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you or someone you know has been wrongfully convicted, you can contact the Attorney General’s Office here or at (951) 296-3353.

Child care - In collaboration with the Governor’s Children’s Cabinet, six Minnesota foundations this week launched an Emergency Child Care Grant Program to provide financial support to licensed child care providers , which will provide invaluable education and services to our state’s emergency response.

For more information about the Minnesota Initiative Foundations or this grant program, visit http://greaterminnesota.net/childcare.

Everyone can work to reduce the spread of COVID-19

  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with your elbow or sleeve, or a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands afterwards.
  • Washing your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom or before eating. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your face – especially your eyes, nose and mouth – with unwashed hands.
  • Stay home if you have cold- or flu-like symptoms, for seven days after your illness onset or three days after your fever resolves without fever reducing medicine, and avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Up-to-date guidance from the Department of Health on recommended community mitigation strategies can be found here.

Resources

CDC Situation Updates

Coverage

 Minnesota distilleries turn into hand sanitizer production sites


Below is an update on the COVID-19 pandemic as it pertains to Minnesota as of 3:30 PM on 3/27/2020.

Updates from the Governor

Minnesota’s two-week Stay at Home order takes effect tonight at 11:59. Below are shareable graphics that help explain what’s open and what’s closed, who is considered an essential worker, and activities that are and aren’t restricted. If you still have questions, head to Governor Walz’s new COVID-19 website for resources and answers to frequently asked questions.

To ensure critical information about COVID-19 is accessible to all Minnesotans, the Walz-Flanagan Administration partnered with TPT to provide closed captioning and translate PSAs into eight different languages (English, Spanish, Hmong, Somali, Russian, Amharic, Karen, and Oromo). You can access those videos here. In the PSAs, the Governor tells Minnesotans to help stop the spread of COVID-19 by staying home, describes the efforts the state is taking to protect Minnesotans, and directs them to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Website for more information.

Actions Today

Governor Walz today signed Executive Orders 20-21, 20-22, 20-23, and 20-24 providing support and greater flexibility for health care providers, commercial drivers, local governments, and constitutional officers in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Executive Order 20-23 will keep health care workers in the workforce by giving health-related licensing boards flexibility in licensing requirements so COVID-19 related lapses in continuing education requirements don’t impact health care professionals’ ability to provide licensed care. The Executive Order allows health care professionals to temporarily defer continuing education requirements and emergency medical service providers to complete continuing education through distance learning, and extends temporary permits for nurses.

Executive Order 20-22 allows the Minnesota State Auditor to work with local governments to adjust reporting deadlines for various financial reports, to prevent municipalities from having to divert resources that should be used to respond to communities’ critical needs during the COVID-19 peacetime emergency.

Executive Order 20-21 amends Executive Order 20-07 to allow constitutional officers to implement leave for both classified and unclassified employees and to reassign and redeploy staff as needed.

Executive Order 20-24 provides hours of service and weight restriction relief for commercial vehicle drivers hauling livestock. The Order will help ensure producers and retailers maintain supply of essential products.


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