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Update on Minnesota School Closure Announcement

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Rep. Koegel

Neighbors,

Governor Tim Walz today announced the temporary closure of Minnesota K-12 public schools to students from Wednesday, March 18 – Friday, March 27 for school administrators and teachers to make long-term plans for the continuity of education and essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic. This will give school staff, teachers and administrators, with guidance from the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) time to accommodate planning.

The Minnesota House of Representatives is continuing to work with Governor Walz, the Minnesota Senate, and the Minnesota Department of Health to ensure our state is prepared to respond to COVID-19.

The Governor's executive order takes these three important actions:

  1. Temporarily closes schools to students so that school administrators and teachers can make long-term plans for the continuity of education and essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic;
  2. Requires schools to provide care for elementary-age children of health care professionals, first responders, and other emergency workers to ensure Minnesota’s first line of defense against COVID-19 can stay on the job;
  3. Requires schools to continue providing meals to students in need and ensures the continuity of mental health services.

Closing schools is certainly a difficult decision but we need to make sure we have plans in place to educate and feed our children regardless of what’s ahead.

The Minnesota House of Representatives has also introduced legislation to ensure our hourly school workers are compensated for days canceled due to COVID-19, and we are working to enact this quickly. 

MDH has set up a public hotline that will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. The hotline number is 651-201-3920 or 1-800-657-3903. You can also visit www.health.state.mn.us for up-to-date and accurate information.

Keeping our Communities Healthy

Please implement and share these recommendations to keep our communities healthy:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently;
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth;
  • Stay home when sick;
  • Implement social distancing, keeping 6 feet away from others under most circumstances;
  • Encourage staff to telework when feasible;
  • Cancel or postpone large events in excess of 250 people gathered together;
  • Limit gatherings with participants at high risk for severe disease to less than 10 people.

There are additional recommendations, and more detail on these recommendations, available from MDH here.

Additionally, MDH is making information about the coronavirus available in multiple languages. A full list of available languages and links to download materials are available below. 

COVID-19 in Amharic (PDF)

COVID-19 in Arabic (PDF)

COVID-19 in Chinese (PDF)

COVID-19 in Hmong (PDF)

COVID-19 in Karen (PDF)

COVID-19 in Russian (PDF)

COVID-19 in Somali (PDF)

COVID-19 in Spanish (PDF)

COVID-19 in Vietnamese (PDF)  

MDH has also set up non-English versions of its coronavirus website. A full list of available languages and links to each page is available below. 

Spanish: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/materials/spanish.html 

Somali: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/materials/somali.html 

Hmong: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/materials/hmong.html 

I hope to be a resource to help us all navigate this public health crisis. Reach out with comments and questions.

Sincerely,

Erin Koegel

State Representative

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