Today, Governor Walz announced the Minnesota Department of Human Rights will begin an investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) after filing a civil rights charge related to the death of George Floyd. This investigation into policies, procedures, and practices over the past 10 years will determine if the MPD has engaged in systemic discriminatory practices towards people of color and ensure any such practices are stopped. Department of Human Rights Commissioner Rebecca Lucero will lead the investigation.
This important action against an police department will allow the Department of Human Rights to take swift action in response to any determination of civil rights violations.
"Minnesotans can expect our administration to use every tool at our disposal to deconstruct generations of systemic racism in our state,” said Governor Tim Walz. “As we move forward, we ask the community to watch what we do, not what we say. It is going to take action at all levels, from the neighborhood on up, to get the change we need to see. This effort is only one of many steps to come in our effort to restore trust with those in the community who have been unseen and unheard for far too long.”
Minnesotans with information that can further the investigation into the MPD should contact the Department of Human Rights at mn.gov/mdhr or 651-539-1100.
The Governor today also signed an executive order allowing bars and restaurants to expand outdoor dining to Trunk Highway right-of-way space, where commercial activity is normally restricted. This action will help provide flexibility for businesses without existing outdoor dining space.
Finally, yesterday’s Minneapolis-St. Paul curfew remains in effect tonight, from 10pm to 4am.
Today, Governor Walz and Lt. Governor Flanagan joined community leaders from across the Twin Cities to ask Minnesotans to stay home after 8pm tonight as we work to restore peace and order across Minneapolis and Saint Paul.
As the Governor said, we need to take a hard look at the virus that has permeated our state for hundreds of years: racism. The sickening image of Officer Chauvin with his knee on George’s neck has rightfully ignited national outrage. The perpetrators of this crime must be held accountable. But that’s only a first step.
The Governor knows there must be systemic change to address inequities stemming from generations of institutionalized racism. As we remember George Floyd, there have been peaceful gathering across the Twin Cities. But there are people, many from outside Minnesota, looking to undermine this important movement by inciting chaos and violence.
The events that have unfolded on our streets over the last 24 hours do not represent the justice we seek for communities of color in Minnesota. Those responsible for this unrest are not our neighbors. They are not who we are. They have not worked for years, for generations, to build this state and enrich our communities. Those instigators of violence want nothing more than to see a community paralyzed. They have descended on our community to—quite literally—burn it to the ground.
To protect Minnesotans, our properties, and restore order, the Walz-Flanagan Administration renewed the call today for all Minnesotans to comply with the 8pm curfew.
“At 8pm tonight, it is time to separate out the people who are protesting peacefully in pursuit of justice from those who wish to undermine this movement through chaos and violence,” Governor Walz said. “I urge all Minnesotans to respect the curfew in the Twin Cities as we take necessary action to protect the safety of our communities.”
Today, the Governor also signed an Executive Order to authorize the Commissioner of Public Safety to request firefighting, police, and health assistance from cities throughout Minnesota and peace officer assistance from adjoining states. Minneapolis and Saint Paul have already received offers of assistance from cities in Minnesota.
As the Governor said: There is work to do. Our work today is to go home tonight. Stay off the streets. Use this as a moment to redefine who we are. We are not perfect. But we stand together with our shared values: decency, inclusion, and that everyone deserves equal opportunity.
You can follow the Governor on Twitter and Facebook for further updates.
The Governor has extended the temporary curfew through tomorrow, Monday, June 1. Minnesotans in the Twin Cities must stay home until 6am.
“The curfew on Friday and Saturday night allowed our law enforcement to target those who meant to do harm to our communities,” said Governor Walz. “Law enforcement made several arrests and seized weapons, narcotics, long guns, handguns, magazines and knives. We have reason to believe that bad actors continue to infiltrate the rightful protests of George Floyd’s murder, which is why we are extending the curfew by one day.”
During the curfew, no one is allowed to travel on Minneapolis and Saint Paul streets or public places, except for first responders, members of the media, people going back and forth to work, individuals seeking emergency care or fleeing danger, and people experiencing homelessness. Curfews are not limited to Minneapolis and St. Paul. Mayors and local governments across the state can issue their own curfews.
Today, Governor Walz signed an Executive Order that outlines the second phase of the Stay Safe MN plan. As the Governor announced last Wednesday, the next phases in the Stay Safe Plan include a cautious, strategic turn of the dial for outdoor dining at restaurants and bars, with safety measures in place, to start June 1, 2020. Personal services like salons, tattoo parlors, and barbershops can also open June 1 at 25 percent occupancy as long as they ensure social distancing and implement safety plans. Campgrounds will also begin to open.
The Governor also signed 21 bills into law, including measures to support farmers and meat processing plants through COVID-19, and provide over $70 million to support renewable energy projects. The Governor emphasized the bipartisan collaboration that has taken place in the midst of COVID-19 to support Minnesotans.
Department of Health officials today announced that over Memorial Day Weekend, the Minnesota National Guard completed nearly 10,000 COVID-19 tests at six sites across the state. Minnesotans were able to get a free test without insurance or symptoms. Any Minnesotan with symptoms is encouraged to continue to find a testing location in their community and get a test.
Minnesotans have made great sacrifices to protect their neighbors by staying home, and each step Minnesota takes to return to a new normal brings risk and responsibility for all. The Walz-Flanagan Administration continues to urge all Minnesotans to limit in-person interactions with people outside of their households, wear a mask, maintain social distance, stay home when they’re sick, and continue to telework whenever possible. Minnesotans at heightened risk to stay home except for essential activities and strongly encouraged to stay home.
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Today, Governor Walz honored Memorial Day by directing flags to be flown at half-staff in honor of those who have died while serving in the United States Military.
“We honor the spirit, courage, and tenacity of the generations of Armed Forces members and their families today who made the ultimate sacrifice for this great nation,” said Governor Walz. “As we work toward peace in our world, let us never forget those who have served on our behalf.”
The Governor also participated in a virtual Memorial Day service, which you can watch here.
Minnesota is facing an unprecedented challenge in COVID-19. There are resources available to help Minnesotans get through this difficult time.
Testing: Minnesotans with COVID-19 symptoms are always encouraged to get a test. Locations in your community can be found here.
Safety at Home: Stay At Home should never mean you stay somewhere unsafe. There are places of sanctuary open for anyone facing abuse or violence. Please call Minnesota’s statewide crisis hotline - available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week - at 1.866.223.1111 or text 612.399.9995.
Unemployment Support: Minnesota is one of the first states in the nation to implement both the $600 per week additional compensation and the 13 week extension of benefits available under the CARES Act. Find these and answers to other unemployment questions here.
Mental Health: If you’re worried about a loved one, or if you want someone to talk to, know you can reach out. We have a website with mental health resources. You’re not alone in this challenge.
Child Care: We understand that the COVID-19 has disrupted child care plans for many families. The child care landscape has been greatly impacted by this pandemic. Find resources and information for child care providers and families here.
Housing: We created this webpage to provide a centralized location for all Minnesota Housing updates and information related to COVID-19.
Emergency food support: Due to COVID-19 pandemic, many Minnesota families face difficult times. It may be hard to pay bills and find food to stay healthy. If you or someone you know has been laid off from work or seen work hours cut, help may be available. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) can help you buy food while budgets are tight.
You can find links to these resources and additional help for employers and employees, volunteer opportunities, and information about donating personal protective equipment our COVID-19 website.
Today, leaders from the Minnesota Department of Health provided an update on our Administration’s response to COVID-19 in long-term care facilities. Significant work has been done to stand up the Governor’s Five-Point Battle Plan over the last several weeks, including:
Above all else, the Walz-Flanagan Administration prioritizes Minnesotans’ health and safety through the COVID-19 pandemic. Yesterday, the Governor announced the slow turning of the dials for restaurants and bars, allowing outdoor seating with safe social distancing measures, as well as the cautious reopening of personal services, like hair salons and barbershops.
Every day, our case counts rise and our death totals grow. So we are not making sudden movements. Rather, we are moving through this pandemic cautiously and strategically, analyzing the data and listening to scientists and experts at every turn. As we safely reopen the economy, we need Minnesotans to do their part. Everyone can work to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Below is an update on the COVID-19 pandemic as it pertains to Minnesota as of 7:00 PM on 5/20/2020.
Governor Tim Walz today announced the next phases in his Stay Safe Plan, including a cautious, strategic turn of the dial to allow limited outdoor dining at restaurants and bars starting June 1. The Governor also announced salons and barbershops will be allowed to open June 1 at 25 percent occupancy to ensure the safety of both the employees and the customers inside. In both industries, customers are either strongly recommended or required to wear masks, make reservations, and adhere to social distancing requirements to keep themselves, other customers, and employees safe.
“Our restaurants and bars are an integral part of the social fabric of Minnesota, and it has been heartbreaking to see this pandemic wreak havoc on our hospitality industry,” said Governor Walz. “While the virus won’t yet allow for business as usual, let’s do what we do best after winter in Minnesota and head outside. Whether it’s a Jucy Lucy, a plate of tamales, or a walleye dinner, Minnesotans can support their local restaurant by enjoying a socially distanced meal outdoors.”
Outdoor dining must maintain social distancing and restaurants cannot seat more than 50 patrons at a time. Governor Walz has stressed the importance of reopening cautiously and strategically, which is why salons and barbershops will be allowed to reopen on June 1 with only 25 percent occupancy and additional safety measures in place.
“While all Minnesotans are eager to get a haircut, we owe an enormous debt of gratitude to our salons and barbershops that put their businesses on hold in order to allow the state time to prepare for COVID-19,” Governor Walz continued. “With the addition of safety measures like personal protective equipment and a limited number of people inside, it’s safe to say we’re not going back to normal. But we can cautiously turn the dial back as Minnesotans continue to do their part to stay safe. Make a reservation, wear a mask, wash your hands, and stay home if you’re feeling sick.”
Outdoor dining and limited salon occupancy are part of phase II of Governor Walz’s Stay Safe Plan. This phase will go into effect on June 1 and will include the opening of campgrounds and other recreational activities. More information on the actives included in the various phases within the Stay Safe Plan can be found here.
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Today, we moved into the next phase of the COVID-19 pandemic: Stay Safe MN. Starting today, friends and families can gather in groups of 10 or less, as long as safety measures are taken, such as wearing masks, washing hands, and staying six feet apart at all times. Shops across Main Street Minnesota can reopen today if they have a safe social distancing plan and operate at 50% capacity.
With these measures, the Walz-Flanagan Administration has taken additional steps to protect the most vulnerable and our state’s workers. Minnesotans are strongly encouraged to continue to stay home and telework if they are able. Last week, the Governor signed an Executive Order to ensure workers can raise concerns regarding the safety of their work environments without fear of discrimination or retaliation.
For Minnesotans who we are asking to continue to self-isolate, like those with underlying conditions and people who are over 65 years old, we are committed to keeping them connected to the services, food support and companionship they will need to stay well.
Also this morning, the Governor and Lt. Governor joined Minnesota House Speaker Melissa Hortman, Senate Minority Leader Susan Kent, and House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler to discuss the end of the 2020 the legislative session. Over the last several months, the Legislature passed robust legislative packages to help Minnesotans weather the pandemic, and our Administration also worked closely with the Legislature to become the first state to ban the toxic chemical TCE, to raise the tobacco-purchasing age to 21, and to pass the Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act. Our Administrations will continue to advocate for every aspect of Minnesotans’ health, safety, and wellbeing as we continue to navigate this pandemic.
Today, Governor Tim Walz announced the next phase of the COVID-19 response in Minnesota. Citing progress made to prepare for peak of infection, the Governor announced a measured, cautious turning of the dial toward a new normal.
With the Stay Home Executive Order set to expire on May 18, the Governor will replace it with an order continuing to encourage Minnesotans to stay close to home but allowing for gatherings of friends and family of 10 people or less. The Governor will also open retail stores and other main street businesses if they have a social distancing plan and operate at 50 percent occupancy. Additional guidance, including a template plan and checklist for businesses, is available on DEED’s website at mn.gov/deed/safework.
“Minnesotans, thank you for your continued sacrifices,” Governor Walz said. “You have saved thousands of lives. You successfully pushed out the peak of this virus and bought our state time to get ready to treat those who fall ill. We know there’s no stopping the storm of COVID-19 from hitting Minnesota, but we have made great progress to prepare for it.”
In conjunction with this announcement, the Governor signed Executive Orders to protect Minnesotans most at risk from the virus and safeguard workers. The first Executive Order strongly encourages Minnesotans at greatest risk of serious illness to continue staying home. The second Executive Order ensures workers can raise concerns regarding the safety of their work environments without fear of discrimination or retaliation. It also protects workers from loss of income if they refuse to work under unsafe or unhealthy conditions.
Following the guidance of public health officials, the Governor today announced a preliminary set of health indicators that could trigger a decision to re-impose restrictions to slow the spread of the virus. These indicators will be refined over time as we learn more about the virus and the course of the pandemic in Minnesota. They include the number of COVID-19 tests that can be conducted as well as the rate of increase in:
Minnesotans are still asked to stay close to home and limit travel to what is essential. In all cases, Minnesotans are asked not to gather in large groups. All gatherings are limited to 10 and social distancing with masks, hand-washing and other safety measures should be followed to protect each other.
Department of Health officials today highlighted the importance of Minnesotans’ participation in case investigations to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Contact tracing is the process of slowing the spread of a disease by interviewing people who have tested positive to understand who they may have been in contact with while they were ill—particularly vulnerable populations. It’s a core element of a public health response to the outbreak of an infectious disease. Public health officials used contact tracing to effectively slow and stop the large measles outbreak in 2017, as well as several other outbreaks in recent years.
Additionally, the Department discussed the state’s first shipment of Remdesivir, which officials allocated to health care facilities for treatment of people hospitalized with severe COVID-19 cases. The drug has shown to help reduce the time it takes for patients to recover from COVID-19, and it can help us as a bridge to additional treatments we know will be coming in the months ahead. We’re hoping to get an additional shipment later this week.
Also today, Governor Walz signed an Executive Order allowing students in critical care sectors to attend classes for needed in-person training or testing in order to graduate. The Executive Order will fill workforce shortages by accelerating entry into critical sectors for up to 1,000 students that will serve Minnesota’s most vulnerable populations.
“We are committed to providing high-quality care for Minnesota’s most vulnerable communities,” said Governor Walz. “This Executive Order will help fill workforce shortages in critical sectors across Minnesota by creating a path for additional trained, licensed employees in sectors that are critical to protecting Minnesotans’ health, safety, and well-being.”
Governor Tim Walz’s latest executive order allows some in-person training, testing to help fill workplace shortages
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On Monday, May 4 Governor Walz signed an order that will exempt federal, tribal, state, and local COVID-19 relief funds from being automatically intercepted by creditors and debt collectors. The Governor also discussed how his administration is engaging with Minnesotans across industries, organizations, and communities to safely get Minnesotans back to work. To learn more about our strategy, and the work we’re doing together, explore our engagement page on the COVID-19 website.
On Tuesday, May 5 Governor Walz signed an Executive Order that provided a roadmap for safely restarting elective veterinary, medical, and dental procedures. Also, the Governor and the State of Minnesota’s Chief Financial Officer Myron Frans announced a projected $2.4 billion deficit through 2021.
On Wednesday, May 6 Governor Walz and Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm thanked nurses on the front lines during this pandemic, and highlighted the work nurses are doing to keep Minnesotans healthy. The Minnesota National Guard conducted statewide flyovers in recognition of those on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic response. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources issued guidance to stay close to home during the season fisher opener.
On Thursday, May 7 Governor Walz unveiled a five-point plan to provide support to our state’s long-term care facilities and protect Minnesota seniors and their caregivers. The Governor and Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm worked closely together to develop the plan, which aims to bolster the significant work that is taking place already within facilities and our public health sector.
On Friday, May 8 Governor Walz called on the Legislature to extend and replenish a Minnesota fund used to keep Minnesotans safe amid COVID-19. Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan highlighted the work of the Administration’s Community Resiliency and Recovery Work Group, which studies and takes action to protect the lives and livelihoods of vulnerable communities in Minnesota.
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Below is an update on the COVID-19 pandemic as it pertains to Minnesota as of 6:00 PM on 5/8/2020.
As COVID-19 has exacerbated racial, economic, and educational inequities, the Walz-Flanagan Administration has prioritized the safety of our most vulnerable workers, families, and communities. During today’s daily COVID-19 response media briefing, Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan highlighted the work of the Administration’s Community Resiliency and Recovery Work Group, which studies and takes action to protect the lives and livelihoods of vulnerable communities in Minnesota.
Also today, Governor Walz called on the Legislature to extend and replenish a Minnesota fund used to keep Minnesotans safe amid COVID-19. The Governor signed the fund into law on March 19, and without an extension by the legislature, it’s set to expire on May 11.
“The COVID-19 fund is saving lives by increasing our testing capacity, ensuring we have enough hospital beds for every Minnesotan who needs care, and purchasing much-needed personal protective equipment,” said Governor Walz. “I look forward to working with the Legislature to extend the fund until June 30, 2021 and replenish the fund so Minnesotans can continue to get the resources they need to weather this pandemic.”
Finally, Governor Walz highlighted Minnesota Correctional Employees Week. Our state’s corrections employees provide a critical service to our communities. During the COVID-19 pandemic, correctional staff continue the difficult work of operating correctional facilities, 24-hours-a-day, and doing everything they can to keep those who are incarcerated safe during this pandemic.
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Today, Governor Walz unveiled a five-point plan to provide support to our state’s long-term care facilities and protect Minnesota seniors and their caregivers. The Governor and Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm worked closely together to develop the plan, which aims to bolster the significant work that is taking place already within facilities and our public health sector. The comprehensive approach includes:
More information on the state’s five point response and support for Minnesota’s care facilities is available here.
Governor Walz also shared guidance, issued yesterday by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, to stay close to home during Saturday’s season fisher opener. While the state’s fishing opener is a time-honored tradition, the COVID-19 pandemic requires that Minnesotans approach the opener differently this year. Many communities across Minnesota don’t have the hospital capacity to handle large outbreaks. Staying close to home means you can still get all the benefits of fishing, but ensure you’re also watching out for your neighbor.
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Today, Governor Walz discussed how his administration is engaging with Minnesotans across industries, organizations, and communities to safely get Minnesotans back to work. He remains committed to addressing this pandemic as One Minnesota – together as a state. Through virtual and in-person meetings, letters, emails, and survey responses, the Walz-Flanagan Administration is receiving feedback from leaders in every corner of the state. To learn more about our strategy, and the work we’re doing together, explore our engagement page on the COVID-19 website.
From May 4-8, we are celebrating family child care provider week. In his remarks today, Governor Walz highlighted the thousands of family child care providers stepping up to care for and nurture the children of emergency workers. Child care has remained open during this pandemic, and providers are making every effort to meet public health needs and keep kids and families safe during COVID-19.
Governor Walz also signed an order that will exempt federal, tribal, state, and local COVID-19 relief funds from being automatically intercepted by creditors and debt collectors.
“COVID-19 presents an unprecedented challenge for our state. This Order will help alleviate the financial burden Minnesotans are facing, allowing them to pay rent and put food on the table,” said Governor Walz. “This action will help ensure the COVID-19 support that local, state, tribal, and federal governments provide will go where it is needed most and directly improve Minnesotans’ lives.”
As many Minnesotans experience unemployment and food and housing insecurity due to COVID-19, this Executive Order allows Minnesotans to use COVID-19 assistance for their immediate needs, rather than having the funding automatically intercepted by creditors or debt collectors.
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Below is an update on the COVID-19 pandemic as it pertains to Minnesota as of 7:00 PM on 5/3/2020.
As the state continues to combat COVID-19, the Governor and public health officials encourage Minnesotans to stay home if they can, wear cloth masks in public, and maintain social distance to prevent spreading the virus to their neighbors and loved ones. As Minnesotans face this unprecedented challenge, there are resources available for support.
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As the state continues to make progress in preparing for the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Tim Walz today extended the Stay Home Order until Monday, May 18. In an effort to get more Minnesotans back safely to work while the order remains in effect, the Governor announced that retail businesses and other non-critical businesses will resume operations with curbside pick-up.
“From building out critical hospital capacity to launching a landmark testing strategy, Minnesota has made meaningful progress in preparing for the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Governor Walz said. “Minnesotans have made this possible by staying home and holding down the rate of infection. But now is not the time for sudden movements. There’s more work to be done, and we need to keep this virus at a simmer, not a boil. Our action today prioritizes the safety of Minnesotans while taking cautious, strategic steps toward getting people safely back to work.”
Also as part of his Executive Order today, Governor Walz strongly encouraged all Minnesotans to wear a manufactured or homemade mask any time they are outside their homes and social distancing is difficult.
Starting May 4, retail businesses and other non-critical businesses may begin offering curbside pick-up. This will put up to 30,000 Minnesotans back to work in a safe, coordinated way. Businesses must:
Minnesotans should also continue to telework whenever possible, wear face masks in public, screen for symptoms and regularly check their temperature, and maintain physical distance from each other.
Updates on the COVID-19 pandemic in Minnesota are available at mn.gov/covid19/.
Frequently asked questions are available here: https://mn.gov/covid19/faq/.
Below is an update on the COVID-19 pandemic as it pertains to Minnesota as of 4:45 PM on 4/21/2020.
Today, the Department of Human Services announced that more than 1,200 Minnesota child care providers will receive about $9.8 million to continue serving children of essential workers through the first round of emergency state funding. The grants, proposed by Governor Walz and authorized by the Minnesota Legislature last month, will help family child care providers and child care centers ensure there is capacity to serve these families during the state’s COVID-19 response.
We know that COVID-19 is particularly harmful to our elderly population, and seniors living in congregate living facilities face an even higher risk of infection. Today, Department of Health officials shared more on the support they are providing to long-term care facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic, and highlighted their work with state and local staff to identify and address ongoing issues such as infection control, personal protective equipment, and staffing.
Yesterday, the Governor and Commissioners of Agriculture, Health, and Labor and Industry commented on the COVID-19 outbreak in Worthington and voluntary closing of the JBS pork plant. They acknowledged the difficulty this poses for the community, and highlighted the importance of worker safety, need for additional testing, and communication with local officials and community leaders to help those affected by the plant closure.
April 19-25 is National Volunteer Week. The Governor and Lt. Governor encourage Minnesotans to participate in their homemade mask drive by making homemade masks for donation to congregate care facilities. On Saturday, April 25 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Minnesotans can deliver homemade masks to their local fire department. Fire departments will then deliver the masks to local congregate living facilities for their employees and residents to wear. Find other ways you can make a difference in your community here.
Today, the Department of Health, Department of Labor and Industry, and Department of Agriculture highlighted our public health support and outreach to ensure food processing facilities and workers can navigate the COVID-19 pandemic safely.
The food supply chain is a critical industry in Minnesota, but across the country, food processing facilities have been particularly vulnerable to outbreaks of the virus and have paused operations. The Walz-Flanagan Administration is taking seriously the need to keep workers and inspectors safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, and we are in close partnership with facilities, labor, and local officials as we continue to work through this unprecedented time.
Watch for more news later this week as we continue to prioritize Minnesotans’ health, safety and security through this pandemic.
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A day after announcing a statewide strategy for COVID-19 testing, Governor Tim Walz today outlined next steps for Minnesota’s response to the pandemic. The Governor extended distance learning through the end of the school year and announced a plan for up to 100,000 workers to safely return to their jobs.
Governor Walz announced that distance learning will continue through the rest of the 2019-2020 school calendar year, explaining how the state will continue to pursue opportunities to expand technology for students, provide guidance for educators on how to best connect with students, and support families.
“As a former teacher, this is a heartbreaking decision,” Governor Walz said. “I am sorry for all of our students who will miss out on graduations, tournaments, and end of year celebrations. While I recognize distance learning is a challenge for many families, it is critical to social distancing in Minnesota and supports the health of Minnesota’s families. We will continue looking for ways to improve the current system and better support our children.”
Governor Walz emphasized that the Stay Home order remains in effect as he laid out his approach for gradually loosening restrictions on Minnesota businesses over time. Developed in partnership with hundreds of businesses, labor and worker organizations, and public health experts, this action will allow 80,000-100,000 Minnesotans to return to work in industrial, manufacturing, and office settings on Monday, April 27.
Prior to loosening restrictions for a given setting, businesses must:
Visit mn.gov/deed/safework for more information.
The Governor also introduced a visual tool to demonstrate how the state is making decisions on restrictions on workplace settings, social settings, and school settings.
Below is an update on the COVID-19 pandemic as it pertains to Minnesota as of 7:45 PM on 4/22/2020.
Governor Tim Walz, representatives of the state’s health care delivery systems, the Mayo Clinic, and the University of Minnesota today announced a breakthrough for rapid, widespread testing of COVID-19 in Minnesota. They plan to launch a statewide testing strategy to test all symptomatic people, isolate confirmed cases, and expand public health contact tracing tools. By building capacity to test as many as 20,000 Minnesotans per day, this increased testing and tracing will help improve control of this pandemic and support the safe re-opening of society.
“When Minnesota faces a challenge, we rise up—together,” Governor Walz said. “I’m proud to partner with Minnesota’s innovative health care systems and leading research institutions to pioneer how states can begin to move forward amid COVID-19.”
The partnership announced today will help ensure that every person in the state with symptoms of COVID-19 gets tested. The partnership will establish capacity to deliver 20,000 molecular and 15,000 serology tests per day.
The expanded testing will include intensive testing of vulnerable populations, including Minnesotans living in congregate settings and those experiencing homelessness; staff that serve vulnerable populations and health care workers; communities of color and American Indian populations; and critical infrastructure workers.
Below is an update on the COVID-19 pandemic as it pertains to Minnesota as of 6:45 PM on 4/20/2020.
Today, Governor Walz and Ecolab CEO Doug Baker highlighted how public-private partnerships are strengthening Minnesota’s response to COVID-19.
As the pandemic spreads across the globe, Minnesota’s health care professionals are competing with other states and countries for personal protective equipment (PPE) and other critical care supplies like ventilators. Governor Walz today shared updates on his Administration’s work to leverage public-private partnerships to ensure that when the COVID-19 surge hits Minnesota, the state has the PPE and medical supplies needed to save as many lives as possible. The Governor highlighted the productive partnerships underway across the state that are helping Minnesota source supplies around the world.
Minnesota companies, big and small, have offered support to get scarce medical supplies necessary to protect front line health care workers. Companies like CH Robinson, Toro, Patterson, Woodchuck USA, Wintergreen, 3M, and Mayo have all stepped up.One notable example, Ecolab, Inc. pledged the company’s assistance in helping the state source supplies from around the world. Jill Wyant, Ecolab’s Executive Vice President and President of Global Regions, is coordinating closely with the state in enlisting supply chain, procurement, and logistics expertise from the Minnesota’s top companies.
April 19-25 is National Volunteer Week. Volunteerism is a core part of Minnesota’s identity – thank you to all Minnesotans who’ve found new ways to help each other through this virus. Find out how you can make a difference in your community here.
Below is an update on the COVID-19 pandemic as it pertains to Minnesota as of 5:00 PM on 4/19/2020.
The Governor and Lt. Governor continue to encourage Minnesotans to create homemade masks for donation to support the workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Saturday, April 25 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Minnesotans can deliver homemade masks to their local fire department. Fire departments will then deliver the masks to local congregate living facilities for their employees and residents to wear.
There is no standard design for a homemade facemask, but if you’re looking for inspiration, recommendations or more information you can visit our mask drive website.
Unemployment Support: Minnesota is one of the first states in the nation to implement both the $600 per week additional compensation and the 13 week extension of benefits available under the CARES Act. Find these and answers to other unemployment questions here.
Below is an update on the COVID-19 pandemic as it pertains to Minnesota as of 8:30 PM on 4/15/2020.
Today, Governor Tim Walz signed the Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act to provide relief to Minnesotans struggling to afford their insulin. With the price of insulin tripling over the past 10 years, Governor Walz worked with insulin advocates to call attention to this urgent issue, keep up the pressure, and get this important bill passed through the legislature. The Governor was joined digitally by insulin advocates as he signed the bill.
“Minnesotans should not die because they are forced to choose between putting food on the table and affording the drug they need to survive,” said Governor Walz. “Despite resistance from the pharmaceutical industry, the grit and determination of Minnesotans with diabetes, Minnesotans who have lost loved ones with diabetes, and their legislators moved this bill forward. It is downright inspiring. This hard-fought law will provide much-needed relief to Minnesotans struggling to afford their insulin. We must continue to put Minnesotans first and ensure people don’t struggle to afford the care they need.”
Over the last 10 years, insulin manufacturers have tripled the price of insulin, and one in four diabetics report rationing the life-saving drug. In 2017, the Minnesota Department of Health estimated that 7.8%, or around 330,000, Minnesotan adults had been diagnosed with either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, with around 18,000 new cases being diagnosed each year.
In addition to highlighting the work today on insulin affordability, the Governor announced that the University of Minnesota received FDA approval for the design of a new, low-cost ventilator aimed at helping clinicians in settings where traditional ventilators are not available. Our state is lucky to have world-class researchers right in our own backyard, and we are grateful for the dedication of those experts, now more than ever.
Governor Walz also shared that Minnesota is one of the first states to implement the additional 13-week extension of unemployment benefits beginning today and reminded Minnesotans of MNsure’s Special Enrollment Period (through Tuesday, April 21) and the Individual Income Tax grace period, which allows Minnesotans until July 15, 2020 to file and pay 2019 Minnesota Individual Income Tax without any penalty or interest.
Below is an update on the COVID-19 pandemic as it pertains to Minnesota as of 4:00 PM on 4/14/2020.
Today, Governor Walz emphasized his support for a series of proposals moving through the legislature to help Minnesotans weather COVID-19. The proposals will ensure that Minnesotans will be able to use Medicaid and MinnesotaCare to receive care at temporary COVID-19 care sites; allow anyone who is uninsured to be eligible for medical assistance coverage; and clarify that telephone care is telemedicine, streamlining remote visits for Minnesotans.
The Governor noted that his Administration is advocating for funding that will help fight hunger in Minnesota and support Minnesota’s agricultural community by purchasing milk from milk producers for hunger relief organizations. The proposal will support both Minnesota dairy farmers and Minnesotans facing food insecurity.
The Governor also highlighted today’s passage of the Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act, which will provide critical relief to Minnesotans who need insulin to survive. The Governor looks forward to signing the bill tomorrow and recognized the incredible work of advocates on this issue.
The Governor clarified today that the peacetime emergency extension through May 13 is separate from the Stay Home Order. The peacetime emergency order provides the Governor with certain tools to respond to the threat of COVID-19, such as providing economic relief to those impacted by the crisis and activating the National Guard to assist in relief efforts. The Stay Home Order, which lasts until May 4, directs Minnesotans to limit movements outside of their homes beyond essential needs.
Below is an update on the COVID-19 pandemic as it pertains to Minnesota as of 8:00 PM on 4/13/2020.
Today, Governor Tim Walz extended Minnesota’s peacetime emergency in Minnesota for 30 days. A peacetime emergency allows Minnesota to continue many of the public health and economic relief measures it has implemented to help Minnesotans weather the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Minnesota’s actions have saved lives, but the threat of COVID-19 remains,” said Governor Walz. “The next stages of this pandemic are going to challenge us – an extension of Minnesota’s peacetime emergency will allow us to protect Minnesotans’ health and wellbeing and continue to respond effectively to this rapidly-evolving situation.”
Minnesota’s peacetime emergency has allowed Minnesota to take strong steps to combat COVID-19, including:
Below is an update on the COVID-19 pandemic as it pertains to Minnesota as of 6:00 PM on 4/10/2020.
Like many Minnesotans, Governor Walz will observe the holidays with his family this weekend. Our thoughts are with Minnesotans across faith communities who would typically be spending upcoming religious holidays with extended family and friends. We ask Minnesotans to remember that as hard as social distancing is during this season, it’s still important and will help ensure our neighbors and loved ones stay safe.
Grocery stores and food co-ops are still open for business and helping to feed our families. Please help us all stay safe and practice social distancing by remembering to shop one person at a time when possible. Stay Home guidelines still apply during the holidays - visit our new COVID-19 website for FAQs, resources, data, and tips on how to protect yourself.
Today, scientists from the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota Department of Health provided a press briefing on the Minnesota modeling developed to help inform the state’s policy and response. An interdisciplinary team at the University of Minnesota has been working with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) to use available evidence on COVID-19 to estimate the trajectory of the disease in Minnesota. You can read more about the model and watch the MDH briefing on it here: mn.gov/covid19/data/modeling.jsp.
Also today, Governor Walz signed an Executive Order to protect Minnesota’s first responders by allowing additional data sharing between Minnesota public health and safety officials, 911 dispatchers, and first responders. First responders keep Minnesotans and their communities safe — it’s imperative that we protect their health and safety.
Below is an update on the COVID-19 pandemic as it pertains to Minnesota as of 4:00 PM on 4/6/2020.
Amid rising reports of discrimination from the Asian Pacific Islander community, Governor Tim Walz launched a Discrimination Helpline today to reinforce the state’s efforts to protect the civil rights of Minnesotans during the COVID-19 pandemic. The helpline will allow Minnesotans who experience or witness discrimination to report incidents directly to the Minnesota Department of Human Rights. The helpline is staffed Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
“Minnesotans are resilient people who support their neighbors when the going gets tough,” Governor Walz said. “As Asian Americans in Minnesota report heightened cases of discrimination amid COVID-19, my message is clear: Viruses don’t discriminate, and neither do we.”
Minnesotans can call the Discrimination Helpline at 1-833-454-0148 or complete and submit this online form. Translation services are available.
Below is an update on the COVID-19 pandemic as it pertains to Minnesota as of 7:30 PM on 3/31/2020.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.