I hope this email finds you well and staying healthy.
Unfortunately, we’re experiencing a significant surge of COVID-19 in Minnesota. COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are at a record-setting high, and hospitals have expressed concern about their ability to care for Minnesotans with COVID-19 and other health conditions. In response, Governor Walz announced several new public health guidelines to curb the spread of the virus.
The public health restrictions that Governor Walz announced yesterday are designed to target some of the most significant sources of COVID-19 outbreaks across the state. Starting this Friday, November 20 at 11:59 p.m., bars and restaurants will only be open for takeout and delivery, gyms and entertainment venues will close, and there will be a pause on youth sports. Minnesotans are being asked to stay home when possible and to avoid gatherings with people outside of their household.
While these new measures are needed to get COVID-19 under control, we know they’ll create challenges for many Minnesotans. Governor Walz recently announced $10 million in Small Business Relief Grants to support impacted businesses as they do their part to combat the spread of COVID-19. This funding will support an additional 1,000 small businesses that have applied for the grant program.
State and local governments are doing what they can to help businesses and families make ends meet, but it’s increasingly clear that federal assistance is needed. Yesterday, my House DFL colleagues and I sent a letter urging President Trump and Senate Majority Leader McConnell to approve a new COVID-19 relief bill. I’m hopeful that our federal leaders will take immediate action to protect peoples’ health and economic wellbeing.
I know fighting COVID-19 is difficult and exhausting, but we can’t afford to be complacent. We’re facing the most dangerous phase of this pandemic, and each of us must do our part to slow the spread of the virus. Please continue to wear a mask and social distance by at least six feet in addition to following the new guidelines. Public health officials are also encouraging Minnesotans to get tested for COVID-19, whether or not you have symptoms. There are several options for getting tested, including a saliva test that can be delivered to your home. You can find more information about COVID-19 testing options here.
The Minnesota Legislature has continued meeting for special sessions each month. In October, we passed a strong Local Jobs, Projects, and Economic Development bill after over a year of work. This bill contains public infrastructure investments that will create good-paying jobs and strengthen our communities. I’m proud that bills I authored to complete the Lake Links Trail and fund preliminary work on the 35E/County Road J interchange were included! I anticipate that we’ll have one more special session in December, so please stay tuned for updates.
Please continue to share questions and feedback and let me know if I can be of assistance. You can reach me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-296-3018. Also, feel free to forward this newsletter to friends or neighbors who may be interested in receiving updates from the Capitol. Anyone is welcome to subscribe to my weekly updates here. For additional updates, you can follow my official Facebook page here.