New Covid-19 Rules as Virus Reaches Record Levels
Unfortunately, Covid is spreading at record levels throughout the country, including here in Minnesota where we have reached our capacity to manage the virus. Governor Walz has announced a number of new actions designed to reign in the virus.
Today, Governor Walz announced the following restrictions:
If you have the funds, please continue to get takeout from your favorite local restaurants, they are going to need your help more than ever. Some of my local favorites include Cahill Bistro in Edina, Yum in Minnetonka and Grand Szechuan and Gyropolis in Bloomington. No one wants to see increased restrictions; we are all fatigued by the ongoing fight against COVID-19. But these restrictions are necessary to help reverse the spread of this virus and save lives. We aren’t at a point where we can return to normal. These restrictions are a direct result of Minnesotans returning to too many pre-covid activities without taking the proper preventative measures. I understand that this is difficult, but we must remain strict when it comes to managing this virus. For everyone's sake, please continue to limit gatherings, wear masks, and social distance.
It is increasingly clear that Minnesota needs federal assistance. We need immediate action on a new COVID relief package, and an extension on flexibility to utilize resources allocated to state and local governments in the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Our state and local governments can’t combat this devastating virus alone, we must come together as a nation to fight for one another.
Actions Taken to Increase Testing and Provide Financial Relief
Last Week, Governor Walz announced the addition of more than a dozen new testing locations opening across the state over the next two weeks. All of the new testing sites will continue to offer free, “no barrier” COVID-19 testing. Testing will be free and available to anyone who wants to be tested whether they have symptoms or not, and it will not require insurance. These sites will be open at least through the end of the year with logistical aid provided by the National Guard. It is critical that we test as much as possible so we can trace how the virus is spreading and implement the necessary isolation.For more information on how and where to receive a COVID-19 test, visit mn.gov/covid19/. An updated list of community testing sites is available here.
Lastly, Governor Walz announced $10 million in Small Business Relief Grants to support businesses that are struggling as they do their part to combat the spread of COVID-19. This funding will support an additional 1,000 businesses that have applied for the grant program.
Medicare Open Enrollment
We’re now in the Open Enrollment period for Medicare Plans, which ends December 7th. Many Medicare enrollees miss this annual opportunity to shop for better coverage among the providers of Medicare Supplement (aka Medigap) and Medicare Advantage plans (most Medicare members have one or the other). Plan premiums, coverages and provider networks can change from year-to-year, so it’s worth the time to use this Medicare Plan Comparison tool each Fall to reevaluate your options.
This year marks the first time dialysis patients will be eligible to enroll in Medicare Advantage (MA) health insurance plans. The website www.DialysisPlanChoice.org provides dialysis patients with a convenient side-by-side comparison of a patient’s current Medicare plan and available MA plans, including a cost comparison tool and information on whether their current nephrologist and dialysis clinic are included in the Medicare Advantage network.
Keep in Touch
Now more than ever, please contact me anytime with questions, input, or ideas. Don’t hesitate to reach out if I can provide any assistance. Please follow me on my Facebook page for further updates and invite your friends and family to do so as well.
Thanks for the honor of representing you at the Capitol.
Representative, District 49B
Minnesota House of Representatives
515 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55155