MN Government Updates 05.21

Department of Health Briefing 05.21.20

This afternoon, officials with the Minnesota Department of Health conducted a press briefing with reporters to update the public on information and state efforts relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Commissioner Jan Malcolm, Department of Health

  • Commissioner Malcolm announced 530 new cases of COVID-19. This brings the state total to 18,200 cases.
  • There have been 32 new deaths due to COVID-19 since yesterday’s report. Of the 32 deaths, 28 were associated with residents of long-term care facilities. The state has now had 809 COVID-19 deaths.
  • Currently, there are 566 patients hospitalized for COVID-19 with 229 of those in the ICU.
  • Over 6,200 COVID-19 tests were processed yesterday.
  • When asked for reaction to the decision by the Catholic bishops and Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod to begin church services in defiance of the governor’s order, Commissioner Malcolm said that the governor is talking to faith leaders about the issue and cited instances across the country where there’s been COVID-19 spread in churches.
  • When asked if the Department of Health insisted at the last minute prior to yesterday’s announcement on allowing for only outdoor seating at restaurants instead of also allowing for some indoor capacity, the commissioner responded that “multiple scenarios were considered and debated. Multiple options were evaluated with legitimately different perspectives with the importance of taking seriously the economic harm that is being done to people. I can’t comment or don’t have insight into the governor’s thinking process.”
  • When asked about what the Department of Health has recommended regarding the Minnesota State Fair, Commissioner Malcolm responded, “The conversations we’ve just had is about the state epidemic and where we might be by late August/early September. Even if we’re past the peak, there will be a great deal of community spread and great risk of transmission. We’re just t simply sharing the data. We did not make a recommendation.”

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

  • Director Ehresmann encouraged schools and the public to follow the public health guidance issued by the Minnesota Department of Health and Minnesota Department of Education relating to graduation ceremonies. The guidance remains in effect.

2020 Legislative Session Summary

The Lockridge Grindal Nauen state government relations team has developed a summary of the 2020 Legislative Session and what issues remain for a June special session. The summary can be found here.

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

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