MN Government Updates 03.31

Governor Walz and administration officials held a conference call with reporters on 03/31 to update the public on state efforts to address the COVID-19 pandemic.


Governor Walz

  • Governor Walz outlined the two new executive orders he issued today.
  • Executive Order 20-25 extends licenses of peace officers, firefighters, and private security personnel and defers continuing education requirements for peace officer licenses that are set to expire soon. The Order allows professionals on the front lines of combatting COVID-19 to maintain their licenses and continue supporting Minnesotans during the peacetime emergency.
  • To avoid the spread of COVID-19 to vulnerable populations, Executive Order 20-26 extends re-certification dates for current medical cannabis patient enrollments set to expire over the next several months; allows any patient to request a temporary caregiver so they are able to send someone to pick up medication on their behalf; and allows medical cannabis patients to practice social distancing with curbside delivery and telephone pharmacist consultations.
  • The governor announced that the number of COVID-19 related deaths in Minnesota is up to 12, two more since yesterday’s report.
  • When asked about the modeling state officials are currently using as guidance for combatting COVID-19, the governor said he anticipates an updated model projection within the next four weeks.

Commissioner Jan Malcolm, Department of Health

  • Commissioner Malcolm announced that the state has seen two more COVID-19 deaths since yesterday’s briefing. This brings the state total to 12.
  • Minnesota has a total of 639 laboratory-confirmed cases (median age 46). This is an increase of 63 more since Monday’s report.
  • There have been 112 COVID-19 patients.
  • 56 hospitalized today.
  • 26 in ICU.
  • 30 in medical service beds.
  • The rest are recovering at home.
  • A total of 288 Minnesota patients have recovered from illness and released from quarantine.
  • Currently, there is no backlog of testing.

Director Joe Kelly, Homeland Security & Emergency Management Division

  • Director Kelly announced that his agency has validated five potential alternative care sites that could accommodate up to 600 beds each – a total of 2,750 beds.
  • He reiterated that these alternative care sites would only be used on top of the additional capacity that hospitals are working on at their sites. These sites would be built out at a time when they are needed.

Commissioner Steve Grove, Department of Employment and Economic Development

  • Commissioner Grove announced that 255,371 unemployment insurance applications have been submitted since March 16. 
  • He also announced that since February 15, his department has been notified by eight companies of layoffs of 50 or more people. These layoffs may not be permanent.

Deputy Commissioner Heather Mueller, Department of Education

  • Deputy Commissioner Mueller announced that the state of Minnesota received approval from the U.S. Department of Education for the waiver request to cancel the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment (MCA) tests.
  • The MCA tests are now canceled for the current academic year.

House Rules Committee Remote Hearing

Tomorrow, the Minnesota House Rules & Legislative Administration Committee will be having a remote hearing at 2:30 PM to hear a presentation from the committee chair, House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler (DFL-Golden Valley), on how House committees will conduct remote committee hearings.

The hearing can be viewed on the House Website, Facebook Live, or YouTube.

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

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