First Responders, Healthcare Workers- We’ve Got Your Back
On Tuesday, we met in legislative session, according to the Minnesota Department of Health guidelines, to approve workers’ compensation benefits for public safety and health care professionals sickened by COVID-19. These front-line workers put their lives on the line every day and I’m glad we quickly passed this legislation with broad support. Read my statement on the legislation here.
Executive Orders / Disaster Declaration
Gov. Walz has signed two additional Executive Orders – out-of-state mental health professionals can provide telehealth services to Minnesota patients, and the other to offer immediate relief to employers and unemployed workers during the COVID-19 peacetime emergency. You can read about this and all Executive Orders signed by Gov. Walz here.
Also, this week, the president declared a major disaster in the State of Minnesota, granting a request made by Gov. Walz. Minnesota will now be offered federal assistance to help mitigate the pandemic’s impact on public health, unemployment and more.
Governor Walz delivers State of the State
Sunday evening, Governor Walz delivered his State of the State address to Minnesota via video from the Governor’s Residence. In his speech, Gov. Walz spoke of the resiliency and optimism of Minnesotans in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to read my statement.
A recording of the governor’s address is available here. A state COVID-19 dashboard of data and resources is available here.
Discrimination Call Line
On Monday, the governor and lieutenant governor announced a Discrimination Helpline to protect the civil rights of Minnesotans during the COVID-19 pandemic. Anyone experiencing or witnessing bias and discrimination can report incidents to the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, by calling 1-833-454-0148 – Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m - 4:30 p.m.
Grants available for Veterans
Veterans financially impacted by COVID-19 may be eligible for grants from the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA). If you are a veteran or know a veteran who needs help, they can apply for a $1000 grant. You can learn more here.
Here are steps we can continue to all take to stay healthy:
- COVID-19 primarily spreads by droplets. For your safety, the best thing to do is stay home. Even if healthy, stay home as much as is possible. If you must go out, stay at least six feet away from others.
- Wash your hands often and when you wash them, do so for 20 seconds before rinsing (that means singing Happy Birthday twice before rinsing).
- COVID-19 can also spread from surfaces to you, but only via mucous membranes. In other words, it can only infect you by going from your hands to your eyes, nose or mouth (it cannot infect you through your skin). Therefore, don’t touch your face. This is hard to stop doing (we are creatures of habit), so if you touch your face think about why and look to identify triggers. That will help you break the habit.
- If you are sick, stay home. If you are very sick (i.e. fever, cough, and shortness of breath) and you feel like you need to see someone, call first or do an e-visit. Do not just show up to your clinic, Urgent Care, or Emergency Dept. without notifying them first. This helps the clinic, Urgent Care, or Emergency Dept. prepare for you and helps avoid infecting others.
- When you cough, use your sleeve to cover your mouth and help prevent forming droplets that can infect others.
Please continue to reach out with any input, ideas, or feedback about the issues important to you. I value hearing from you, so please don’t hesitate to call or email me any time. You can also connect with me on Facebook here.
The challenges we face are unprecedented in our lifetimes, but I believe that together we will get through this. It is an honor to represent you at the State Capitol. Stay safe; stay healthy.