MN Government Updates 03.30

MN Government Daily Press Briefing March 30, 2020

Governor Walz

  • Governor Walz announced that state COVID-19 deaths have risen to 10.
  • He also said that over the month of March, traffic flow is down 71% in Greater Minnesota and 79% in the metro area. This is one aspect of social distancing that has allowed the state to buy valuable time to prepare hospitals, do more testing, and make other preparations as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • In accordance with Executive Order 20-14, the governor reiterated that evictions will be halted beginning April 1.
  • When asked whether the state’s hospitals and medical facilities have enough personal protective equipment, the governor responded, “As of today, yes.” However, he said the state does not have enough personal protective equipment right now for when the peak in infections arrives. The governor said the state is ramping up acquisition of such equipment – ventilators and personal protective equipment – for those on the front line.

 

Commissioner Alice Roberts-Davis Department of Administration

  • Commissioner Roberts stated that her department’s number one goal is for Minnesota to acquire the resources it needs to address COVID-19.
  • Her department is leading the charge in procuring medical equipment and personal protective equipment.

Commissioner Jan Malcolm, Department of Health

  • Commissioner Malcolm announced that 10 death have occurred due to COVID-19. This number is up from Friday’s report of 4 deaths.
  • There are 576 laboratory confirmed cases of COVID-19 – up from Friday’s report of 398 cases.
  • A total of 92 patients have been hospitalized.
  • 56 patients are still hospitalized. 24 of those patients are in the ICU.
  • The age range of those infected is 4 months to 104 years. The median age is 45 years.
  • There are 31 congregate care facilities with at least one case of COVID-19.
  • The commissioner also announced that there is currently no back-log in lab testing.

Director Joe Kelly, Homeland Security & Emergency Management Division

  • Director Kelly announced that there has been excellent compliance with the governor’s “Stay at Home” executive order.
  • Local law enforcement officials are approaching potential violations with education and information and are not looking to charge people.
  • If Minnesotans want to report a concern about compliance, please call 651-793-3746 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Director Kelly renewed his calls for Minnesotans to donate blood or to send donations to charities.

Commissioner Steve Grove, Department of Employment and Economic Development

  • Commissioner Grove announced that 239,263 new applications for unemployment insurance have come into the department since March 16. This is more than all of the applications submitted in 2019.
  • The commissioner announced that DEED is moving to a new system to accommodate applications. Based on the last digit of one’s Social Security number, an individual will have a designated day to submit an application.
    • If the last digit ends in 0, 1, or 2, apply on Monday
    • If the last digit ends in 3, 4, or 5, apply on Tuesday
    • If the last digit ends in 6, 7, 8, or 9, apply on Wednesday.
    • Thursday and Friday are open to all applicants.

Due to the federal CARE Act legislation that was recently signed into law, new benefits are coming to those who are unemployed including providing $600 per week, allowing independent contractors and self-employed individuals to be eligible for unemployment benefits, and extending state unemployment benefits through December 31, 2020.

Commissioner Grove announced that the Small Business Emergency Loan program begins today. It will help businesses impacted by Governor Walz’s Executive Order 20-04. These loans are 50% forgivable with a 0% interest rate.

The commissioner also announced the Small Business Loan Guarantee Program to lenders with at least three years of active lending experience and have provided financing to small businesses. Already, $10 million is set aside for this program and new private sector partners should leverage an additional $20 million to $25 million.

REAL ID Deadline Extension

Last Friday, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety announced that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is extending the REAL ID full enforcement deadline to Oct. 1, 2021. The deadline was originally set for Oct. 1, 2020, but is being delayed by one year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This gives Minnesotans more time to apply for a REAL ID or enhanced driver’s license or ID card. 

Amos A. Briggs | Government Relations
LOCKRIDGE GRINDAL NAUEN P.L.L.P.
100 Washington Avenue S | Suite 2200 | Minneapolis MN  55401

©2020 International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers Local 34. All rights reserved.