ST. PAUL – State Rep. Dale Lueck, R-Aitkin, said the Legislature’s swift, bipartisan approval of funding to help combat the coronavirus outbreak is about preparedness and not panic.
The House and Senate both approved without opposition Monday a $20.9 million transfer from the General Fund to the state’s public health response contingency account to battle against the coronavirus. Gov. Tim Walz enacted the bill Tuesday.
“This is about preparedness, not panic,” Lueck said. “We must make sure everything is in place, including contingency funding, so our public health system professionals can respond to whatever challenges may arise related to the coronavirus outbreak. This action fortifies our contingency account that exists for just this kind of circumstance. It is our responsibility to make sure adequate funding is available for this developing situation.”
The $20.9 million in additional funding is expected to cover staffing, laboratory costs, equipment and support costs associated with the state’s public health system response to COVID-19. Lueck said this bill is one of many steps that state government is taking to be able successfully meet any difficulties the coronavirus presents today and in the future.
As concerns continue regarding coronavirus, the Minnesota Department of Health recommends people “Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. Stay home when you are sick. Cover your cough. Stay informed. Visit the MDH and CDC websites often.” Visit www.health.state.mn.us for more from MDH.