News is evolving quickly on the COVID-19 virus. Governor Tim Walz and Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm held a news conference today to announce community mitigation strategies.
The strategies include:
- Postpone or cancel large events of 250 or more people and smaller events that do not allow social distancing of 6 feet per person, and events where the majority of participants are at higher risk for severe illness, including at retirement facilities, assisted living facilities, developmental homes, and health support groups.
- Monitor local information about COVID-19 in your community
- Practice personal protective measures, including keeping social distance of at least 6 feet and washing hands frequently
- Put a household preparation plan in action
- Provide alternative learning environments for high-risk children
- Anyone with symptoms should stay home until symptom-free for at least one day
- Incorporate extra handwashing into daily routine and reinforce proper cover-your-cough procedures
- Cancel interstate and international travel
- Encourage staff to telework when feasible
This week, the House and Senate unanimously approved, and Gov. Walz signed into law, bipartisan legislation for immediate funding to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). Other information and resources can be found on the Minnesota Department of Health website.
The COVID-19 Hotline is available for questions at (651) 201-3920 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
This Wednesday, House DFL leaders announced additional COVID-19 measures to help prepare for the virus. A package of bills includes:
- clarification on when a governor can declare a peacetime emergency,
- establishing a loan account for overwhelmed health care providers,
- expansion of unemployment insurance to include sick time payments during a communicable disease outbreak,
- compensating hourly school workers for cancelation days,
- cost-free COVID-19 – related testing, treatment and quarantine, and
- banning price gouging on goods/services during an emergency.
You can read more details about these proposals here.
Your best source of accurate and timely information is the Minnesota Department of Health.
Both the Minnesota Department of Education and the Minnesota Department of Health are recommending that schools not be canceled. You can read Minneapolis Public Schools' March 12 update here.
The 2020 Census is Here!
Please check your mail in the coming days for an invitation to fill out the Census - An undercount of even a few thousand people can turn into a loss of millions of dollars and political representation at the local, state, and national levels. This means less political power for our communities. For a strong voice in government, every citizen must be counted.
Census data is critical to our children’s future and the next generation. It helps us get the health care, transportation, schools, affordable housing, and higher education that our children need to get a good start and be successful.
Census data now is the most secure that any data can be. You can’t find any information that would identify you as an individual including your status or address. Private information is never published. Census workers are not allowed to share your information under the penalty of a $250,000 fine and up to five years in prison.
If you watch for the census materials in the mail and fill it out and return it when you receive it, then you do not need to answer the door to a Census Field Employee. By law, information they collect cannot be shared with anyone, including land lords, social workers, law enforcement, or employers. More information is available here.
Latinx Elders came to speak in support of my bill to allow Census workers into apartment buildings. You can read more about the importance of this legislation from MPR here.
I was glad to meet with advocates for people experiencing homelessness at the Capitol.
Have a great weekend, and please reach out if you have questions: firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-296-4262.
Rep. Fue Lee