I hope you and your loved ones had a chance to enjoy the warmer weather last weekend! Here’s an update on Minnesota’s fight against COVID-19 and my work at the Capitol:
Vaccine Eligibility Expands
Minnesota reached Governor Walz’s goal of vaccinating 70 percent of our state’s seniors last week. Thanks to the efforts of many Minnesotans and a new vaccine that only requires one dose, we hit this target earlier than expected. In response, Governor Walz expanded eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine.
1.8 million Minnesotans are newly eligible to receive a vaccine, including:
These groups will receive priority, but providers may offer available appointments to others who are eligible, including Minnesotans from the next tier:
More details about eligibility are available here. I encourage you to sign up for the COVID-19 Vaccine Connector if you haven’t already. In some cases, your employer will have more information on vaccine availability, and it’s a good idea to be in touch with your health care provider too.
COVID-19 Restrictions Eased
Several changes to Minnesota’s COVID-19 restrictions took effect earlier this week. The graphic below outlines these modifications and others that will take effect in the coming weeks. You can find more details at staysafe.mn.gov.
This is encouraging news, but Minnesotans need to keep their guard up to protect the progress we’ve made. Wearing masks, social distancing, and taking steps to protect yourself and others is still extremely important. Let’s all do our part to defeat COVID-19!
Removing Barriers to Breast Cancer Exams
One in eight women will develop breast cancer at some point in their life. As a breast cancer survivor myself, I know firsthand how important it is to get a timely diagnosis. I’ve received annual mammograms since I turned 40 years old, and there has been a handful of times where I’ve needed to get a follow-up exam to ensure I didn’t have breast cancer. According to the Susan G. Komen organization, about 12 percent of people who receive regular mammograms have to undergo additional testing.
Preventative mammograms are free under the Affordable Care Act, but follow-up exams are not. They can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars, and too often this keeps women from accessing the care they need. This year, I introduced a bill that eliminates out-of-pocket costs for diagnostic testing so all Minnesotans can get these exams and hopefully have the positive outcome that I did. Yesterday, Susan G. Komen held a powerful advocacy event to support this legislation. I’m proud that my bill is moving forward with their support and backing from legislators in both parties!
Investing in Our Parks and Trails
As Minnesotans, we’re proud of our state’s many beautiful parks and trails. That’s why I’m carrying legislation that invests in regional parks and trails. It provides funding to operate and maintain 64 parks and more than 415 miles of trails in the metropolitan area, preserving these great assets for future generations to use and enjoy.
Respond to My Legislative Survey
I like to have as much input as possible when advocating for our community at the Capitol. I appreciate all the feedback that I receive through emails, phone calls, virtual conversations, social media, and our town halls. This week, I’m launching a new way to share your thoughts, experiences, and hopes for the future! Please take a few minutes to respond to my legislative survey.
Join Our Town Hall
Representative Ginny Klevorn, Senator Ann Johnson Stewart, and I are holding a town hall this weekend! We’re eager to hear your questions, share news from the Capitol, and discuss issues that you care about. If you’d like to join us on Zoom, you can click here when the event begins or enter the Meeting ID (931 9621 3833) and Passcode (304705) when prompted.
It’s an honor to represent you! Please continue sharing your questions, ideas, and feedback.