Minnesota - COVID-19 Covered

Minnesota

Total Cases: 56,560 (August 4)
Tests Administered: 872,004 (August 2)
Fatalities: 1,656 (August 4)
Testing:
  • COVID-19 testing locations in Minnesota can be found here.
  • Madelia Community Hospital and Clinic, and Watonwan County Public Health offer free COVID-19 testing on July 1. (June 30) 

ECONOMIC RESPONSE

Essential Service Designations:

  • Minnesota Department of Health announced new guidelines for designating essential caregivers in long-term care settings, such as nursing homes, in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. (July 10) 
  • Per Governor Walz’s Stay at Home Order, essential sectors include, but are not limited to, the following: health care and public health, law enforcement, public safety, first responders, emergency shelters, congregate living facilities, drop-in centers, childcare, food and agriculture, news media, energy, water and wastewater, and critical manufacturing. (March 25)

Labor & Workforce Guidance, Standards and Regulations:

  • Minnesota released reopening guidance for businesses based on sector. Details for each sector can be found here.   
  • Minnesota released guidance for employers in the meatpacking industry to reduce worker exposure to COVID-19. (May 26 

Economic Stimulus & Relief:

  • Governor Walz and Lieutenant Governor Flanagan announced $100 million from the CARES Act will be allocated for Minnesota rental relief. (July 14) 
  • Governor Walz and Lieutenant Governor Flanagan announce a $12 million effort to fight Minnesotan hunger due to the COVID-19 recession. (July 8 
  • Governor Walz and Lieutenant Governor Flanagan announced a plan to distribute $853 million in relief to communities across the state impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. (June 25) 
  • Minnesota’s Senate Minnesota senators voted to distribute $841 million in federal money to help cities dealing with costs related to the COVID-19 pandemic; funds will be distributed based on the city/county’s number of residents. (June 16 
  • Governor Walz signed an executive order banning creditors and debt collectors from automatically intercepting COVID-19 relief funds. (May 4 
  • The Minnesota Senate reportedly approved a relief bill in response to the pandemic that would extend the due date for about $1 billion in state taxes, expand a handful of tax credits, and lower charitable gambling rates. (April 30) 
  • Minnesota received $1,093,413,660 from the Coronavirus Relief Fund through the federal CARES Act; the state is expected to receive $2.187 billion in total. (April 15 
  • Governor Walz signed an executive order to provide immediate relief to employers and unemployed workers by streamlining applications for Unemployment Insurance and implementing a federal notification requirement to help Minnesota qualify for additional federal UI funds. (April 6 
  • Governor Walz announced Minnesota’s health plans have agreed to waive cost-sharing for the treatment of COVID-19. (April 2) 
  • The income tax deadline has been delayed three months until July 15. (March 21) 
  • Governor Walz issued an executive order ensuring full access to unemployment benefits for those affected by COVID-19. (March 16) 

Business Support & Resources:

  • Governor Walz signed an executive order extending emergency relief provisions for livestock-related businesses. (July 17) 
  • Governor Walz announced $56.6 million from the CARE Act funds will be allocated towards grants for childcare providers to help with COVID-19 protection in the workplace. (July 7) 
  • Governor Walz announced the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development is accepting applications for the $62.5 million Small Business Relief Grants Program for businesses impacted by COVID-19. (June 23 
  • The Minnesota Small Business Relief Grants Program will begin accepting applications on June 23; more than $60 million is available in grants for small businesses affected by COVID-19. (June 19 
  • Governor Walz signed a bill providing funding for grants for meat processors affected by COVID-19. (May 27 
  • The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development announced the Minnesota Small Business Loan Guarantee Programwhich can provide capital to businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic. (March 30) 
  • A $300 million coronavirus aid bill passed the Minnesota House, which would include $40 million in emergency grants and loan guarantees for small businesses. (March 26) 
  • An executive order signed by Governor Walz authorizes the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development to establish a Small Business Emergency Loan program for small businesses affected by COVID-19. (March 23) 
  • Minnesota small businesses suffering as a result of coronavirus are eligible for low-interest federal disaster loans provided by the SBA for low-interest federal disaster loans. (March 21 

SOCIAL RESTRICTIONS

Reopening:

  • Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey announced bars will be required to close for indoor service. (July 29) 
  • Governor Walz announced a statewide indoor mask mandate. (July 22) 
  • Minnesota reopens adult day centers for those with disabilities. (June 12) 
  • Minnesota’s Health Department announced youth outdoor sports can return to games and scrimmages starting June 24 and indoor youth sports can resume games and scrimmages on July 1. (June 19 
  • Governor Walz extended Minnesota’s COVID-19 peacetime emergency through July 13(June 12 
  • Phase 3 of Minnesota’s reopening plan is in effect, which allows the following: the limited reopening of indoor dining, gyms and entertainment venues; hair salons, barbershops, and tattoo parlors can expand to 50% capacity with reservations; place of worship can expand to 50% capacity; outdoor event venues including sporting events, concerts and theaters can open at 25% capacity; indoor social gatherings are limited to 10 people and outdoor social gatherings are limited to 25 people. (June 10 
  • Governor Walz signed an executive order allowing bars and restaurants to expand outdoor dining to “Trunk Highway right-of-way space” to help provide flexibility for businesses without existing outdoor dining space. (June 2 
  • Officials announced the Minnesota State Fair would be canceled due to COVID-19. (May 22 
  • Governor Walz outlined the phases of Minnesota’s “Stay Safe Plan,” which would allow limited outdoor dining at restaurants and bars, and 25% occupancy at barbershops and Salons starting June 1, 2020. An outline of the plan can be found here. (May 20 
  • Governor Walz unveiled a five-point plan to provide more support to long-term care (LTC) facilities, including expanding testing for residents and workers, providing testing support and troubleshooting, getting facilities needed personal protective equipment, ensuring adequate staffing levels, and leveraging partnerships. (May 7 

SCHOOL PLANNING

K-12:

  • Governor Walz announced Minnesota’s Safe Learning Plan for public school reopening, giving parents the choice of in-person instruction, distance learning, or a hybrid model. (July 30) 
  • Minnesota health and education officials asked school administrators to plan for three possible scenarios on reopening in the fallin-person learning for all students; hybrid learning with social distancing and capacity limits; and distance learning only. Officials promised a decision by the week of July 27 on which of the three will be used. (June 18  

State Higher Education:

  • A list of Minnesota universities and colleges planning to reopen in the fall can be found here. 
  • The University of Minnesota leaders have mapped out a plan to reopen classrooms, dormitories, and other common spaces this fall. The Board of Regents endorsed the plan and is expected to vote on it in July. (June 12)  
  • The University of Minnesota announced that all summer classes will be online only due to concerns about the coronavirus outbreak. (April 7)  

 

Produced by Marathon Strategies, an independent PR firm that delivers intelligent communications and research solutions. For information, email Phil Singer at COVID-19@marathonstrategies.com