I hope this finds you and yours staying well. Committee work is underway at the Capitol, and we’ve hit the ground running in the House. My primary focus remains on finding COVID-19 recovery and rebuilding strategies by connecting with our local cities in 33B and listening to community members and leaders. The plan my House colleagues announced this week aims to address this on the state level by protecting economic security for workers and businesses, enhancing health care and human services, education, and child care. It’s not an exhaustive list, but these first priorities represent some concrete steps lawmakers can take right now to address urgent challenges facing Minnesotans hurt most by the pandemic.
You can read more nonpartisan coverage of our plan at the Minnesota House’s Public Information Service Session Daily publication here.
I’ve reached out to all our cities’ mayors and have had the opportunity to touch base with most of them to discuss our communities’ infrastructure improvement requests as we begin to share those needs with our House Capital Investment Committee. This panel of legislators is charged with developing a robust, bipartisan bill that funds local projects in communities across the state. These investments will go a long way in our recovery efforts post-pandemic, especially in helping more Minnesotans get back to work.
COVID-19 Vaccination Distribution Update
COVID-19 Vaccine distribution and administration continues. As of today, approximately 164,040 Minnesotans have received the first dose, including 32,826 in Hennepin County. As I’ve shared in my previous update, the vaccine is being administered in phases, starting with health care workers and long-term care residents. The CDC released updated federal guidance early this week to prioritize those 65 and older and those with underlying health conditions, however, we need more vaccines shipped to Minnesota before we can implement that guidance.
It’s estimated that more than 50 percent of the vaccines produced have been held back by the federal government. Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced that they would grant a request from Governor Walz and eight other governors to release millions of these critically-needed vaccines.
The newly created COVID-19 Data Dashboard provides a more visual and user-friendly way to view key vaccination data for our state. The dashboard includes information on the number of vaccine doses allocated to the state by the federal government, the number shipped to Minnesota providers, and the number ultimately administered to Minnesotans. The data will be updated daily at 11:00 a.m.