MN Government Updates 07.10

Walz Calls Special Session for Monday

Governor Tim Walz today announced that he will convene a special legislative session beginning on July 13, 2020. The Governor continues to push for legislation on police reform and accountability and has asked the Legislature to join his effort to build a stronger, more equitable economy by passing a robust bonding bill.

“I am asking Republicans and Democrats in the Legislature to work together on the urgent matters Minnesotans expect them to tackle this summer,” said Governor Walz. “Our state had a trying few months, and we need the Legislature to rise to the occasion and get things done to help Minnesotans rebuild and recover. Give me a bill to sign on police accountability and reform and let’s work together to build a stronger, more equitable economy by investing in local jobs and projects across the state.”

“We are ready to work with our partners in the legislature to make meaningful change for Minnesotans,” said Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan. “People across the state are counting on us to come together to invest in local projects, police accountability and reform, and a stronger, more equitable economy. Let’s get it done together.”

As they did last session, the Governor and Lieutenant Governor support the recommendations on police reform and accountability that were introduced by the Minnesota People of Color and Indigenous (POCI) Caucus and the Attorney General’s Police-Involved Deadly Force Encounters Working Group. The proposals support use of force reform; greater police oversight; community healing; and prosecutorial, investigatory, and training reform.

The Governor’s plan to build a strong and equitable economy will include his bonding proposal, the Local Jobs and Projects Plan, which will revitalize infrastructure across the state and create good-paying jobs. The Governor will also continue to work with partners at the community, local, state, and federal level to provide assistance for businesses impacted by the events in Minneapolis and St. Paul following the death of George Floyd.

Governor Walz will also extend the COVID-19 peacetime emergency by 30 days to ensure the state can continue to quickly and effectively respond to the pandemic. Every state in the U.S. has declared a state of emergency, allowing governors and other officials to quickly respond to rapidly-evolving threats stemming from COVID-19. 49 states currently have a state of emergency in place.

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 state efforts to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

Commissioner Jan Malcolm, Department of Health

  • Commissioner Malcolm announced 609 new laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19. This brings the state’s total to 40,767 COVID-19 cases. This is the largest daily total since early June.
  • The median age for a confirmed COVID-19 case is 38.1-years-old. The daily median age for yesterday’s numbers was around 29-years-old.
  • There were five additional deaths to due COVID-19, one of which was a resident of a long-term care facility. This brings the state total to 1,495 deaths.
  • Currently, 227 patients are hospitalized for COVID-19 with 124 of those in the ICU. This is an increase of eight more people in the ICU.
  • A total of 19,213 COVID-19 laboratory tests were conducted yesterday.
  • The state passed the milestone of 700,000 COVID-19 tests conducted since the beginning of the pandemic.
  • The seven-day COVID-19 test positivity rate is 4.5%, an increase from 3.8% a week ago.
  • Commissioner Malcolm also announced that the program of donated supplies of Remdesivir conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Gilead has ended. Now, the program is moving from a free to a semi-commercial model where allocation and distribution of the drug will be handled by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Hospitals will now need to purchase this drug if they wish to use it. The Minnesota Department of Health’s allocation model has not changed and will still be allocating amounts to hospitals based on the total number of hospital cases. The first shipment of Remdesivir under this model is expected next week.
  • The commissioner also provided an overview of changes to visitor restrictions to long-term care facilities. The Department of Health has developed an exception to visitors restrictions for those designated as “essential caregivers” to residents, which becomes effective on July 25. Learn more https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/hcp/ltccaregiver.pdf&source=gmail&ust=1594552467829000&usg=AFQjCNHb2P3iQJ0ANHwkeIdbfQiRRYanug"> here.

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

  • Director Ehresmann stated that there has been a delay in resting results due to the rising number of cases of COVID-19 nationally, which puts a strain on national labs. She said that it’s important for symptomatic individuals waiting on test result to stay home until they receive results.
  • She also said that it is not recommended for individuals to be seeking COVID-19 tests every couple of days and that testing is not a substitute for masking and social distancing. 
  • Unrelated to COVID-19, Director Ehresmann warned about the danger of individuals becoming infected by a disease called Naegleria fowleri that can occur with prolonged periods of heat in fresh water. Learn more here.

Amos A. Briggs | Government Relations
LOCKRIDGE GRINDAL NAUEN P.L.L.P.
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