Governor Announces Changes to Stay at Home Order
Governor Walz announced that the current stay at home order will expire on May 18th, and will be replaced with an order allowing for more businesses and places in which people congregate to reopen. The governor also extended his peacetime emergency powers through June 12th. These powers have enabled the governor to take necessary action to secure the safety of Minnesotans and provide emergency relief to residents of our state who have been harmed economically by this pandemic.
This decision was made in consideration of the progress Minnesota has attained in slowing the spread of this virus, and in conjunction with the progress of our efforts to prepare for a coming surge in cases. The renewed order encourages people to continue to socially distance, gather in groups no larger than 10, wear masks in public, and stay close to home when possible. Additionally, the new order allows for retail stores to reopen provided they establish a protocol to protect workers and customers through social distancing while operating at no greater than 50% capacity. The order also indicates that plans will be made through the end of May to allow for bars, restaurants, and other places of public accommodation to reopen starting June 1st.
Worker and community safety is paramount in moving forward in a thoughtful manner that does not erase the progress that has been made by the sacrifices of Minnesotans. A procedure has been developed for workers to indicate unsafe working conditions without fear of retaliation, and there is a template available to employers to use in implementing workplace safety measures.
Governor Walz also underscored a series of health indicators that could determine whether or not restrictions are reimposed. These indicators include testing capacity, number of new cases, and the percentage of COVID-19 cases of unknown origin. While this move charts an immediate path forward for reopening our economy, the safety decisions Minnesotans make in the coming days and weeks will determine if our progress remains stable, or if it is wiped away entirely. I do not doubt the seriousness with which Gov. Walz weighed the various factors surrounding this decision. The situation in Minnesota continues to evolve, and all circumstances are subject to change. You can read the full executive order here.
Update From the Minnesota Department of Health
Around 5,000 COVID-19 tests were performed in Minnesota yesterday. We are continuing to build our testing and contact tracing capabilities in order to fully understand the trajectory of this disease in Minnesota, which is a critical step towards reopening our state.
House DFL Releases Jobs and Local Projects Bill
The Jobs and Local Projects Proposal or “bonding” bill, has been revised from last year and is advancing in the House. Our bill invests in Minnesotans in a time when it’s needed most, and contains $2.524 billion in renovations, repairs, and replacement of public assets like higher education institutions, clean water infrastructure, correctional facilities, roads and bridges, parks and trails, municipal buildings and more. I'm happy to report that my project, $3.6 million in funding for road and safety improvements for Highway 13 and Yosemite and Dakota interchange in Savage was included in our bonding bill.
Comments from Dr. Anthony Fauci
Dr. Anthony Fauci appeared before a US Senate committee yesterday for a hearing in which he underscored that states will likely see not only an increase in cases, but an increase in otherwise preventable fatalities as well if they reopen their economies too quickly. Dr. Fauci said, "There is a real risk that you will trigger an outbreak that you may not be able to control, which in fact, paradoxically, will set you back, not only leading to some suffering and death that could be avoided, but could even set you back on the road to try to get economic recovery.”
We are seeing our number of confirmed cases continue to increase in our state, and we are not yet at our peak. I understand everyone is struggling right now. We have made so much progress in combating this disease, but this progress is extremely fragile. Everything we have sacrificed and worked so hard to gain throughout the course of this public health crisis can be completely erased if all of us as Minnesotans do not continue to work together. A united, thoughtful, and gradual strategy to incrementally reopen our economy is the only strategy that will truly secure the permanency of our post-COVID-19 economic vitality and quality of life.
Keep in Touch
Please socially distance if you leave the house, please stay safe, and please stay healthy. As always, I am here to assist you in any way I am able.
Please contact me anytime with questions, input, or ideas. You can reach me on my Facebook page, by phone at 651-296-4212, or by email (preferred and quickest response) at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t hesitate to reach out if I can provide any assistance!
Your Neighbor and State Representative