I would like to pass along a note to let the residents of District 13A know that I remain on task and available as a resource for citizens as the state combats the current COVID-19 outbreak.
People are urged to take advantage of Minnesota Department of Health hotlines, including a public line (651) 201-3920 and a line for questions specifically related to schools and/or childcare (651) 297-1304. Several online resources also are available to help individuals stay up to date:
At the local level, call CentraCare at (320) 200-3200 to speak to a nurse 24 hours a day, seven days a week. CentraCare also offers curbside service with an appointment. Benton and Stearns counties also are partnering on a COVID-19 hotline, available 8:30-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at (877) 782-5683.
Early Tuesday morning, the House approved nearly $200 million in additional funding to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill provides $50 million to the Public Health Response Contingency Account for use by providers, ambulance services, health care clinics, hospitals, and long term care facilities. It also allocates $150 million to the newly-created Health Care Response Fund for grants to providers for costs necessary for COVID-19 response.
This outbreak is coming with great consequences for workers and business owners in Minnesota. The governor has issued an executive order to ensure workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic have full access to unemployment benefits. According to the Minnesota Unemployment Insurance Program, the executive order makes applicants eligible for unemployment insurance benefits if:
The executive order also eliminates the one week waiting period to ensure applicants have access to unemployment benefits as quickly as possible, and assures business owners that benefits paid as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic will not increase their future unemployment tax rate.
If your employment has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the department urges you to apply for unemployment benefits online. Visit the Unemployment Insurance Program website at www.uimn.org to learn more.
Please stay in communication and let me know if there is any way I can assist in overcoming this challenge.