Dear Friends and Neighbors,
On Thursday, Governor Walz announced that industrial, manufacturing, and office-based businesses will be able to reopen effective this coming Monday.
I'm pleased with the decision. Residents should know I've been listening to them and advocating for a smart, data-driven approach to getting Minnesotans back to work and allowing our small businesses to re-open with safety protocols that don’t jeopardize public health. This is the first step in that process.
Reidell Skates CEO Bob Riegelman of Red Wing took part in the press conference announcing the governor's decision.
Over the past few weeks, I've written and forwarded numerous letters on behalf of local business owners to Governor Walz and his administration, voted and spoken in favor of legislation that would benefit small businesses, helped secure a spot for Riegelman to testify in a Minnesota Senate hearing, and supported meeting with legislative rural caucus leaders and the governor's administration in hopes of making progress on behalf of those classified as "non-essential" businesses.
A gradual return to work for our businesses is absolutely necessary, and I want to thank Governor Walz and his commissioners for working with us on this shared goal. And I'd also like to thank the local residents who have made their voices heard and became a part of this process. Without your input, we would not be moving forward.
DISTANCE LEARNING WILL CONTINUE FOR K-12 STUDENTS
Also on Thursday, Governor Walz made the decision to keep students at home for the remainder of the school year by deciding that buildings will remain closed and distance learning will continue.
While this decision is being made for safety reasons, that won't ease the pain or frustration being felt by those who were looking forward to participating in spring activities or sports. Not to mention our senior students whose high school careers will come to a very unexpected conclusion, without awards ceremonies, proms, or graduation parties. Know that I am thinking about you all and I share in your disappointment.
GOOD NEWS ON COVID-19 TESTING
This week the governor also announced that the Mayo Clinic and University of Minnesota will team up with state healthcare systems with the goal of ramping up Minnesota's COVID-19 testing capacity.
20,000 daily diagnostic tests and 15,000 daily antibody tests would occur under the plan. Once Minnesota is able to reach this daily maximum, our state would have a much better idea as to how many active cases are out there and how many people have already been exposed to coronavirus.