I hope you and your family are safe and heathy. I know many of you have questions about what we’re doing to address the COVID-19 pandemic and what the coming days and weeks might look like, so I’m co-hosting a virtual town hall with Rep. Peter Fischer and Sen. Chuck Wiger next week.
We’re holding the virtual town hall via Facebook Live on Monday, April 13 at 6:30 p.m. Please submit any questions or comments you’d like us to address during the town hall here. You can RSVP and find more details here.
Stay at Home Order Extended
Yesterday, Governor Walz announced he’s extending the stay at home order until May 4 with a few modifications. You can find answers to frequently asked questions about what this means for you, your family, and your business here.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits
First responders and health care workers put themselves at risk to keep Minnesotans safe and healthy. They deserve to know we have their backs. This week, we passed a bill to ensure nurses, firefighters, paramedics, police officers, and other frontline workers are covered by workers’ compensation if they contract COVID-19. The bill establishes a presumption that if these workers contract the virus, they did so during their employment and are covered by workers’ compensation.
Amid reports of increasing discrimination against our Asian American community, Governor Walz and the Minnesota Department of Human Rights created a new discrimination helpline to help protect the civil rights of Minnesotans during the COVID-19 pandemic. Minnesotans who experience or witness discrimination can report it by calling 1-833-454-0148 or completing an online form here.
Discrimination isn’t welcome in our state at any time, but it’s particularly sad to see it when so many people are struggling. Viruses don’t discriminate, and neither should we.
Helpful Information and Resources
Last week, Governor Walz launched a new COVID-19 dashboard to track the spread of the virus and help Minnesotans find information and resources. It also provides information on available ventilators, ICU beds, personal protective equipment (PPE), and testing. The dashboard, which is updated daily, is available here. The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH)’s website, linked here, is another good source of information.
Despite the need to be physically apart, it’s more important than ever to look out for one another. I hope you’re able to stay connected to your family, friends, and neighbors and to reach out to folks who might need support. Here’s a few ways to help others in your community if you’re able:
- Reach out to fellow Minnesotans, particularly people who are elderly.
- Volunteer to deliver groceries or other essential items to a neighbor.
- Donate money to food shelves and other non-profits.
- Buy a gift card online from a nearby business.
- Order lunch or dinner from a nearby restaurant that’s open for pickup.
- Donate blood to help combat the current blood shortage.
- Donate your time. To learn more about volunteer opportunities, contact an organization registered with the Minnesota Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (MnVOAD).
- Give new, unused personal protection equipment (PPE) like gowns, masks, and gloves. Contact your county emergency manager if you have these supplies.
If I can be of help in any way, please feel free to contact me. The best way to reach me these days is by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 651-296-1188.