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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Joe McDonald (R)

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Legislative update

Thursday, April 23, 2020

BBQ pic

Staying at home means a little more time to BBQ these days.


I hope you and your family remain healthy and safe as we make our way through yet another week with notes to pass along related to the COVID-19 outbreak. Here are some of the latest developments:

Resorts can be open for business

There has been much uncertainty and even some misinformation regarding how the governor’s executive orders on COVID-19 impact Minnesota’s resorts, a major industry in this part of the state. The fact is, resorts never were closed under the governor’s orders and here is the most up to date and accurate guidance we have received:

  • The hotel portions of resorts (including rented cabins) can open as planned and can accept guests.
  • Guests do not have to be members of a critical sector to stay at a resort.
  • Communal amenities may not be open for use.
  • While resorts can accept visitors, the Stay at Home Order continues to discourage unnecessary travel, and the Order asks people to remain close to their homes.
  • Resorts do not have to open if they are not comfortable doing so. 

Maintenance and cleaning staff can begin work now to prepare for the season. Of course, health and safety of employees and guests should remain a priority throughout the season, so please do your part.

We are working for clarification on campgrounds and RV resorts and I will pass along anything we learn about those facilities.

COVID-19 testing to ramp up

Gov. Tim Walz and members of his administration provided some good news this week regarding efforts to combat the COVID-19 outbreak, with the announcement of a new partnership to significantly ramp up testing capacity. The governor and did not indicate an exact date when we can expect to see that capacity reached, but suggested we should start to see an increase shortly. Here are some quick details:

  • A new partnership with Mayo Clinic and University of Minnesota, funded by the COVID-19 Minnesota fund, will establish capacity to deliver 20,000 molecular and 15,000 serology tests per day. This will allow testing of all symptomatic people, and in turn we can isolate and trace contacts for positive cases. 
  • The partnership will help collect data to identify hotspots, conduct further research into how best to treat and prevent COVID-19.

This breakthrough could be a big help in helping our state re-open in a safe, effective manner so we can continue to protect people as workers get back on the job. Please understand this is a major logistical undertaking so, while this is good news, it still will require some time for us to get our system up to speed to handle this volume so we can incrementally re-open Minnesota.

Resource for farmers

Farmers looking for information to help navigate the COVID-19 outbreak are encouraged to check out a Minnesota Department of Agriculture website as a resource. It has numerous topics and contacts for department staff. The site covers issues from questions about meat processing, to mental health resources, to financial support through RFA and more.

Until next time, stay healthy and safe and let me know if there is anything I can do to help your situation.



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