COVID-19 RESPONSE AND PREPAREDNESS


Updates from the Governor

Governor Walz held a press call with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) today to provide updates on COVID-19 and remind Minnesotans of some of the benefits and programs Minnesota is offering amid the pandemic:
MNsure – Last week, Governor Walz and MNsure announced a 30-day special enrollment period (SEP) for qualified individuals who are currently without insurance as a result of the growth of COVID-19 cases. The SEP opened on March 23 and runs through April 21. It will allow uninsured individuals 30 days to enroll in health insurance coverage through MNsure.org.
Unemployment Insurance – We know the hardships and stress this pandemic is bringing to families and folks throughout the state. The Governor highlighted the state’s unemployment insurance program and described how it quickly serves employees who are unable to work as a result of COVID-19.

Individual Tax Filing extension – Minnesotans filing their annual Minnesota Individual Income Tax return for tax year 2019 now have until Wednesday, July 15, 2020, to file and make their payments without any penalties or interest.
Small business assistance – Yesterday, the Governor established a Small Business Emergency Loan Program for businesses affected by COVID-19. DEED’s emergency loan program will help Minnesota small business owners who need immediate assistance during COVID-19 closures.

Suspension of evictions – The Governor also announced an executive order yesterday, which clarifies that landlords and financial institutions cannot begin eviction proceedings that would remove tenants from stable housing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thank you to our essential workers – Also today, the Governor took the opportunity during his press call today to thank Minnesota’s essential workers—like our health care workforce, child care providers, truck drivers, grocers, delivery services, and utility operators, and so many others, who are helping and leading our communities through this very challenging time.

Public Health Officials to Provide COVID-19 Briefing 
Governor Walz will join MDH and public health officials again tomorrow at 2pm for their daily briefing on COVID-19 in Minnesota and the state’s response. The best way to keep you and your loved ones safe and healthy is to follow trusted information sources like MDH. You can listen to the briefing live from local news outlets or on Minnesota Public Radio. 
Today, MDH announced that there are 27 new cases, for a total of 262 cases in 31 counties. 88 patients have recovered and no longer need to be isolated. 



Everyone can work to reduce the spread of COVID-19
Cover your coughs and sneezes with your elbow or sleeve, or a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands afterwards.
Washing your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom or before eating. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Avoid touching your face – especially your eyes, nose and mouth – with unwashed hands.
Stay home if you have cold- or flu-like symptoms, for seven days after your illness onset or three days after your fever resolves without fever reducing medicine, and avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Up-to-date guidance from MDH on recommended community mitigation strategies can be found here.

Resources
CDC Situation Updates
Apply for Unemployment Insurance
Minnesota Department of Health Updates
About COVID-19