Minnesota - COVID-19 Covered

Minnesota

Total Cases: 452,268 (January 23)
Tests Administered: 3,199,693 (January 21)
Fatalities: 6,100 (January 23)
Testing:
  • COVID-19 testing locations in Minnesota can be found here. 
  • Governor Walz announced the availability of a new COVID-19 exposure notification mobile application, COVIDaware MN. (November 23) 
  • Governor Walz and Lieutenant Governor Flanagan announced a significant expansion in COVID-19 testing access, with the addition of more than a dozen new testing locations opening across the state over the next two weeks. (November 9) 

ECONOMIC RESPONSE

Essential Service Designations:

  • Governor Walz issued an executive order that authorized out-of-state pharmacists to administer vaccines in Minnesota during the COVID-19 Peacetime Emergency. (December 23) 
  • The 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 included, but were 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 signed an executive order modifying Executive Order 20-42 to ensure that COVID-19 relief payments would not count as income for federally funded assistance programs, and that pandemic unemployment benefits paid to high school students did not make families ineligible for certain assistance. (January 7 
  • Governor Tim Walz signed Executive Order 21-02, which modifies Executive Order 20-50 to ensure that recent federal COVID-19 relief payments meant to help individuals afford necessities are not intercepted by third parties or immediately garnished for consumer debt. (January 7 
  • Governor Walz announced a COVID-19 economic relief package to keep businesses afloat, support workers struggling to get by, and help Minnesota families. (November 24)
  • Governor Walz announced a $53.3 million investment to support child care providers and protect Minnesota families’ access to child care during the COVID-19 pandemic. (October 13)
  • Governor Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan announced a $3 million investment in mental health services for children and families during the COVID-19 pandemic. (October 8)
  • Governor Walz announced that $100 million in CARES Act funding would be allocated for housing assistance and homelessness prevention. (July 14)
  • Governor Walz announced $100 million from the CARES Act would be allocated for Minnesota rental relief. (July 14)

Business Support & Resources:

  • Governor Walz signed a $216 million economic relief package into law that would support small businesses and workers impacted by the pandemic. (December 16)
  • Governor Walz announced he would convene a special session of the Minnesota Legislature on December 14 in order to provide relief to small businesses, workers, and families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. (December 9)
  • Governor Walz announced $10 million in funding to support small businesses affected by the pandemic. (November 10)
  • Governor Walz announced a $7.7 million plan to support agricultural producers, meat processors, and farmers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. (October 19)
  • Governor Walz signed an executive order extending emergency relief provisions for livestock-related businesses. (July 17)

SOCIAL RESTRICTIONS

Reopening:

  • Minnesota launched a COVID-19 vaccine pilot program, partnering with local public health and school districts. (January 18) 
  • Vaccines began to be administered to those not in the designated high-priority groups. (January 15) 
  • Wedding receptions and other private parties were permitted to resume with limits. (January 6) 
  • Indoor events and entertainment – like bowling alleys, movie theaters, and museums – may open at 25 percent, with no more than 150 people in each area of the venue. (January 6) 
  • Indoor dining at bars and restaurants can open at 50 percent capacity, with a maximum of 150 people. Parties of no more than six people must remain six feet from other parties; bar seating is open to parties of two; reservations are required; and establishments must close dine-in service by 10 p.m. (January 6)  
  • Beginning January 4, pools may reopen for lap swimming and organized sports activities as long as facilities follow social distancing requirements specific to pools. (December 23) 
  • Governor Walz extended the state’s peacetime emergency. (December 14)
  • The first COVID-19 vaccine shipments arrived in Minnesota on December 14 at four sites across the state: Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Sanford Bemidji Medical Center, Olmsted Medical Center, and Cass Lake Indian Health Services. (December 14)
  • Governor Walz announced a four-week pause on social activities, in-person dining, sports, and fitness establishments. (November 18)
  • Minnesota implemented a ten-person limit for indoor and outdoor gatherings, and recommended all social gatherings be limited to members of three households or less. (November 10)
  • Minnesota announced that all bars and restaurants must end dine-in service between 10:00PM and 4:00AM. Indoor capacity would be capped at 150 people and may not exceed 50 percent of an establishment’s total capacity. (November 10)
  • Governor Walz announced a statewide indoor mask mandate. (July 22)

SCHOOL PLANNING

K-12:

  • Governor Walz signed an executive order clarifying the timeframe for school districts and charter schools to implement additional preparation time. (November 6)
  • Governor Walz signed an executive order that made technical adjustments to the Safe Learning Plan outlined in Executive Order 20-82. (November 5)
  • Governor Walz signed two executive orders that formalized Minnesota Department of Health guidance regarding the total classroom occupancy allowed in higher education settings and permitted cooperatives to waive in-person meeting requirements. (August 26)
  • Governor Walz announced Minnesota’s Safe Learning Plan for public school reopening, which gave parents the choice of in-person instruction, distance learning, or a hybrid model. (July 30)

State Higher Education:

  • A list of Minnesota universities and colleges planning to reopen in the fall can be found here. 

 

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