MN Government Updates 07.17

House and Senate to Reconvene Monday

Both the House and Senate are scheduled to reconvene for floor sessions at 12:00 p.m. on Monday. Governor Walz and legislative leaders continue to negotiate a number of bills including a bonding bill, police accountability and reform measures, a supplemental budget bill, and modifications to executive peacetime emergency powers.

Agreements on final language of these bills have not yet been announced. However, Governor Walz has spoken positively about ongoing negotiations between him and the four caucus leaders.

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 reported 669 new laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19. This brings the state’s total number of cases to 45,013.
  • A total of 14,683 COVID-19 tests were processed yesterday.
  • Currently, 252 people are hospitalized for COVID-19 with 110 of those in the ICU.
  • Hospitalizations rose by three.
  •  ICU bed use increased by seven.
  • There were seven additional deaths due to COVID-19. This brings the total to 1,533 deaths in Minnesota due to COVID-19.
  • The seven-day COVID-19 test positivity average is 4.7%. This is up from 4.5% a week ago today.
  • Commissioner Malcolm announced that the Department of Health is stepping up enforcement of required health guidelines for bars and restaurants. Since Monday, 120 complaints have been submitted to the department about restaurants and bars for non-compliance issues. The commissioner said the department is taking this action to reduce spread of COVID-19 so it is more likely Minnesota can have students in the classroom in the fall.
  • When asked if the state is considering closing bars and restaurants, the commissioner responded, “We would like to avoid that. There may be other ways about further restricting capacity and the like. The goal is to avoid wholesale closure of those activities. Nothing can be considered off the table with what’s happening around the country. We’d like to explore intermediate measures before that.”

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

  • Director Ehresmann noted that there have been reports of organizations or camps requiring individuals to be tested and have a negative result for COVID-19 before returning to work or participating in the organization’s program.
  • The Minnesota Department of Health does not recommend requiring a negative test to return to work, attend a camp, or participate in sports. The department is concerned that organizations requiring this will use up testing resources at a time when the state needs to prioritize testing for those who need testing the most.

Amos A. Briggs | Government Relations
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