I’m hearing from many in our communities who are concerned about the spread of COVID-19, a viral respiratory illness often referred to as the Coronavirus. First, I want to assure you that Minnesota is well prepared to effectively respond to an outbreak. The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is in constant contact with the Legislature, hospitals, clinics, and providers.
Click here to visit an MDH webpage with specifics about what’s happening. You can watch a March 2 briefing with MDH Commissioner Jan Malcolm, Governor Tim Walz, and legislative leaders from both parties here. On March 4, the House Health and Human Services Division held a public hearing about Minnesota’s preparedness and legislation to appropriate the necessary financial resources. Watch a video replay of the entire meeting here.
MDH’s labs are prepared to test patients for the condition. There are basic precautions we can all take to prevent the spread of COVID-19. First thing’s first: wash your hands thoroughly. It may seem like common sense, but washing your hands for at least 20 seconds is critical to effectively remove microbiological bacteria. Also, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, and be sure to cover your cough with your sleeve or elbow. Lastly, if you’re sick: stay home.
I will share updates and news from MDH as I receive them.
New Legislation Receives Committee Hearing
This week, I presented my bill with my colleague Rep. Ruth Richardson to extend postpartum health coverage from 60 days to 12 months for women on Medicaid. Women deserve the resources they need postpartum and two months isn’t enough during this critical time for new mothers. Many thanks to Dr. Erin Stevens and Dr. Helen Kim for their expert testimony.