MN Government Updates 07.15

Minnesota House Debates Peacetime Emergency Powers

Last night, the Minnesota House of Representatives debated a motion to suspend the rules to take up House Concurrent Resolution 1, which would end the governor’s peacetime emergency powers. The debate lasted around four hours. The vote to suspend the rules, which requires two-thirds support (90 votes), failed with 63-70.

The House and Senate are scheduled to return for floor sessions at 12:00 p.m. on Monday, July 20.

Minnesota Department of Health Briefing

This afternoon, officials from the Minnesota Department of Health conducted a press briefing with reporters to update the public on the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

Commissioner Jan Malcolm, Department of Health

  • Commissioner Malcolm announced 578 new laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19. This brings the state’s total number of cases to 43,742.
  • The median age for a confirmed COVID-19 case is 37.5-years old. This is down from 38.2-years-old a week ago and 40.5-years-old a month ago.
  • The state has had eight more deaths due to COVID-19 – bringing the state total number of deaths to 1,518.
  • Currently, 254 patients are hospitalized for COVID-19 with 106 of those in the ICU.
  • Hospitalizations rose by 18.
  • ICU bed use decreased by one.
  • Yesterday, 12,473 COVID-19 tests were conducted.
  • The seven-day COVID-19 test positivity rate is 4.8%. This is an increase from .1% from the day prior and up from 3.8% two weeks ago.
  • When asked if state officials are considering closing down bars due to an increase in COVID-19 infections, Commissioner Malcolm responded that the Department of Health is stepping up enforcement of health guidance for bars and restaurants.
  • When asked about what will happen with schools in the fall, Commissioner Malcolm responded that Governor Walz and the Minnesota Department of Education will be making a decision opening schools by the week of July 27. She noted that the governor would like to accelerate the decision announcement, but also wants to fully examine all relevant data. The commissioner said all three models (in-class, distance, and hybrid) may be used by the state in combination during the school year.

Director Kris Ehresmann, Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Prevention, and Control Division

  • Director Ehresmann stressed the importance for parents to develop a plan for short-term alternate care for young children in the event of illness from COVID-19.
  • She encouraged Minnesotans to visit the state’s COVID-19 website for “Make a Plan MN” for more information.

Dr. Ruth Lynfield, State Epidemiologist

  • Dr. Lynfield stressed the importance for Minnesotans to continue to exercise precautions to reduce the spread of COVID-19 so that business can continue to operate – even though many Minnesotans are “sick and tired” of precautions.
  • She said while there is good news on vaccine development, it could be many months before such a vaccine is available.

Amos A. Briggs | Government Relations
100 Washington Avenue S | Suite 2200 | Minneapolis MN  55401

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