MN Government Updates 09.10

Special Session Set for September 11

The legislature is scheduled to convene at 12:00 p.m. September 11 for the fourth special legislative session of 2020. Governor Tim Walz called the legislature into special session as he intends to extend the COVID-19 peacetime emergency by 30 days.

The special session is expected to be limited in scope and a bonding bill will not be voted upon given that Minnesota is still in a post-bond sale blackout period where the state cannot make changes to its financial status. The earliest the legislature could take action on a bonding bill is September 20.

Both the House and Senate are expected to vote on whether to allow the governor to continue his peacetime emergency powers. The DFL-controlled House is likely to vote to allow the powers to remain in effect while the Republican-controlled Senate is likely to vote to end them.

Minnesota Department of Health Briefing

This afternoon, the Minnesota Department of Health conducted a press briefing with reporters to update the public on the spread of COVID-19 in the state. Much of the focus of today’s call was on long-term care facilities.

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

  • Director Ehresmann reported 389 new cases of COVID-19. This brings the state’s total number of COVID-19 cases to 82,249.
  • The median age for a COVID-19 case is 35-years-old.
  • There were 15 more deaths due to COVID-19. 11 of those deaths were residents of long-term care facilities. There have now been 1,884 deaths in Minnesota due to COVID-19.
  • Currently, 257 patients are hospitalized for COVID-19 with 138 of those in the ICU.
  • Hospitalizations decreased by six.
  • ICU bed use increased by one.
  • 4,572 COVID-19 tests were reported to the state. This is down from 5,373 tests reported from the day before.
  • The seven-day COVID-19 test positivity average is 5.3%. This is down one week prior at 5.4%.
  • Update on long-term care facilities:
  • 20 new long-term care facilities have reported cases of COVID-19.
  • There were 47 new COVID-19 cases yesterday, which was down from 58 the day before.
  • The larger proportion of cases are occurring in healthcare workers. This is a function of community spread of COVID-19.
  • 73% of facilities have not had any new cases in the last 28 days.

Director Lindsey Krueger, Office of Health Facility Complaints

  • Director Krueger reported that 67% of nursing homes have had an outbreak while 31% of assisted living facilities have had an outbreak.
  • The state has seen a significant difference over five months in long-term care deaths.
  • Back in April, long-term care facility deaths accounted for 84.2% of all state COVID-19 deaths.
  • In August, long-term care facility deaths accounted for 52.1% of all state COVID-19 deaths.
  • Effective July 25, essential caregiver visits were allowed by the Minnesota Department of Health. Essential caregivers are family members or friends who provide emotional support or individualized care to long-term care residents.
  • 380 long-term care facilities participated in a survey since essential caregiver guidance went into effect.
  • 68% of facilities that responded implemented essential caregiver guidance.
  • Of those who did not implement the optional guidance, 58% said they were concerned about the spread of COVID-19 in the facility.
  • No COVID-19 cases in long-term care facilities came from an essential caregiver.
  • Of those who have not implemented essential caregiver guidance, just over half said they plan to do so in the coming months.
  • More information on essential caregiver guidance for long-term care facilities can be found here.

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

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