Another busy week; here is a brief update on COVID-19 items:
Gov. Tim Walz extended Minnesota’s Stay at Home order through May 4. He indicated the extension is warranted while acknowledging Minnesota is making good progress, however he doesn’t want to risk a set-back by relaxing to early.
The governor also provided a limited amount of additional flexibility on how businesses may operate in areas such as lawn care, landscaping, agricultural related equipment repair and trucking, garden centers, nurseries and many other areas.
The governor’s decision to extend the Stay at Home order has been met with some concern that he is being a bit too cautious. I am not going to second guess his decision to extend the stay at home emergency directive.
However, I will continue to aggressively press him and the administration to be more flexible on allowing work activities that can be done safely without increasing the danger of spreading the virus.
Examples include outdoor activities such as installing boat docks, delivering boats that are currently in storage and a wide variety of indoor work operations that by their nature can be done with appropriate worker safety precautions in place.
On a local note, the Mississippi River is currently at about 15.4 feet. We entered moderate flood stage in the Aitkin area when the river reached 13 feet several days ago. The governor issued emergency order 20-30 on April 7 providing National Guard Assistance where needed. Detailed information on the current river level and crest projections can be found at this link.
A new, low-cost option is available for people who are having trouble affording insulin. Eli Lilly and Company pharmaceuticals has introduced the Lilly Insulin Value Program, allowing anyone with commercial insurance and those without insurance to fill their monthly prescription of Lilly insulin for $35. Lilly indicates in a press release that the program was motivated by the COVID-19 pandemic, and indicated it has no plans for discontinuing the program in the future. Call the Lilly Diabetes Solution Center at (833) 808-1234 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays, or click here for more info.
The legislature is scheduled to reconvene on Tuesday the 14th. We anticipate working on a number of COVID-19 related issues. Stay strong – stay safe.