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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Bud Nornes (R)

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Legislative update

Friday, April 24, 2020

Dear Neighbor,

Earlier this week, I sent an email to clarify that our resorts can be open for business amid the stay-at-home order. We received some updated information regarding RV resorts and campgrounds, indicating they are indeed able to be open, with stipulations. Click here for those details.

Here are a couple of other notes I would like to share from this week, especially news of a collaboration that has formed in Minnesota to significantly increase testing for the virus, and an announcement some people will be getting back to work.

On Thursday, Gov. Tim Walz signed a new executive order to allow businesses in manufacturing, industrial, and office settings that are non-customer facing to reopen. This order could help as many as 100,000 Minnesotans return to work starting on Monday, April 27. Businesses must create and share a safety plan for keeping employees safe, conduct daily health screenings of employees upon their arrival, and continue teleworking whenever possible. The Department of Labor and Industry will have an optional template plan available to use as a start point. The Department of Employment and Economic Development will be hosting two webinars to discuss this process. More information on the webinars can be found here

While that news is encouraging for thousands of businesses who have been waiting to safely reopen they doors, I know many are still frustrated and uncertain about the days and weeks ahead, and wondering when they will be able to do the same. My hope is that today's announcement is a path forward so we can get our economy moving again and help Minnesotans return to work safely. We will continue working with the Walz administration to help reopen as many businesses as possible, and do it in a way that protects the health and safety of employees and our communities. 

We also received announcement this week regarding a new partnership with Mayo Clinic and University of Minnesota, funded by the COVID-19 Minnesota fund, will establish capacity to deliver 20,000 molecular and 15,000 serology tests per day. This will allow testing of all symptomatic people, and in turn we can isolate and trace contacts for positive cases. The partnership will help collect data to identify hotspots, conduct further research into how best to treat and prevent COVID-19. The governor did not indicate an exact date when we can expect to see that capacity reached, but suggested we should start to see an increase shortly.

This breakthrough could be a big help in helping our state re-open in a safe, effective manner so we can continue to protect people as workers get back on the job. Please understand this is a major logistical undertaking so, while this is good news, it still will require some time for us to get our system up to speed to handle this volume so we can incrementally re-open Minnesota.

Stay tuned for more soon. Another House session is scheduled for Tuesday, so there may be more to report regarding bills that come to the House floor for votes of the full body.

Sincerely,

Bud

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