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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Cheryl Youakim (DFL)

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March 16 COVID-19 Update

Monday, March 16, 2020
Rep. Youakim

Dear Neighbors,

Yesterday, Governor Walz has ordered K-12 public schools to close to students by Wednesday, March 18-Friday, March 27 for school administrators and teachers to make long-term plans for the continuity of education and essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a break for planning purposes on how distance learning opportunities might be delivered in the case of an extended closure, how students special education needs can be met, how to support students who are experiencing homelessness, and several other public-school service provisions. You can find the Governor’s executive order here

Closure of Bars, Restaurants, Places of Public Accommodation

Governor Tim Walz today signed Executive Order 20-04 to order the temporary closure of Minnesota restaurants and bars to dine-in customers. He also ordered the temporary closure of other places of public accommodation and amusement, including theaters, museums, fitness centers, and community clubs effective tomorrow-Friday, March 27. Take-out and curbside pickup will still operate at most locations. The Governor is encouraging grocery stores and pharmacies to stay open so Minnesotans can still get the items they need.

In an effort to support the many Minnesotans affected by these closures, the Governor signed Executive Order 20-05 to strengthen Minnesota’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund and ensure that workers who are not able to work as a result of COVID-19 have benefits available. Specifically, this Executive Order will waive the employer surcharge and allow the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development to pay unemployment benefits immediately, providing fast relief to employees who need it.

These are difficult times, but I’m confident we can get through it together.

Resources for managing stress and anxiety can be found at the Department of Health’s website.

I’d also like to share a resource document my colleagues and I put together for up-to-date information on state agency and other resources to confront the many challenges posed by COVID-19

During this time, it is important to follow the science and the recommendations of the Minnesota Department of Health, as well as the CDC. Please reach out if you have any questions that are not answered by the information above. Be safe, kind, and take care of one another.

We will get through this together,