Dear Friends and Neighbors,
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented action across our nation and the world. My goal, as your State Representative, is to keep you informed on how your state and community is responding to this healthcare crisis and share helpful resources with you. Things are happening quickly, just yesterday, it was announced that all Minnesota schools will soon close and the Minnesota legislature has now altered its session schedule as well. This email will be a bit lengthy, but will provide you with updates and links to current school, business, and medical updates.
STATUS OF THE LEGISLATURE
The House formally will remain in session, but in a “recess” as the state addresses the pressing public health issue surrounding COVID-19, with meetings and floor sessions taking place on an on-call basis until April 14. Alternate means of working will allow the House to respond to the needs of Minnesotans while also fully complying with Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) guidelines including social distancing, limiting large gatherings, telework, and increased cleaning measures necessitated by COVID-19.
Though I will not be at the Capitol five days a week anymore, I want residents to know that I am still working for them and strongly urge folks to contact me with any legislative questions or concerns they may have. The best way to do this is by phone at 651-296-8635 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are a number of website links and phone numbers I want to pass along so you can receive timely, and accurate information as it relates to COVID-19.
The Minnesota Department of Health's COVID-19 page is: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/index.html
The Center for Disease Control's COVID-19 webpage is: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
The Mayo Clinic’s COVID-19 page is : https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/symptoms-causes/syc-20479963
MAYO CLINIC LOCAL TESTING
Mayo Clinic Health System in Red Wing will start offering a drive-through screening process for patients who meet criteria for COVID-19 testing. As a first step, patients must call their Mayo Clinic Health System primary care clinic. A provider or nurse will determine if patients meet criteria and will schedule a drive-through test. Tests will not be offered to people who have not been pre-screened over the phone. The virus spreads rapidly and this process will help minimize potential exposure to other patients and staff.
The Red Wing drive-through screening location is currently available for all Mayo patients in their Red Wing, Cannon Falls, and Lake City region. Please check the Mayo Clinic webpage for updates on this.
Drive-through collection will begin Monday, March 16 and will be offered Monday-Sunday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
SCHOOLS AND DAYCARE
The Minnesota Department of Health has a hotline available related to schools and/or childcare. Call (651) 297-1304 for more information.
Do you have questions about your school district's COVID-19 response? Visit the following:
Red Wing: https://redwing.k12.mn.us/
Cannon Falls: http://cannonfallsschools.com/
Lake City: https://www.lake-city.k12.mn.us/
We are certainly living in uncertain times and navigating unchartered waters. The COVID-19 pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus is very real and I cannot stress enough the importance for all of us to follow the guidelines put out by the CDC and our Department of Health (MDH). Wash your hands frequently, stay home and avoid unnecessary trips, cover your cough, disinfect surfaces like door knobs, faucets and countertops, and if you must be in any public settings, maintain a 6 foot distance from others. By doing these things, you are not only protecting yourself, but you are helping to stop the community spread of this dangerous virus.
I want you to know that the House, Senate and Governor’s office and administration have been working closely together to respond to this community health emergency. We will continue to communicate with you as things change. As always, you can continue to reach me via my office number or email at 651-296-8635 or by email at email@example.com.
I believe that we have the strength of will and grounding of faith to get through this. Our state and communities have a long history of coming together to tackle problems and this situation should be no different. We are also blessed to live in close-knit communities where we know our neighbors and families can rely on each other for help and support. I encourage you to look after the elderly and the most vulnerable in your own neighborhoods and check in on them to make sure they have food and supplies. If you or your neighbors are struggling and unable to access resources, please call my office. I will assist in any way I can!
The days and weeks ahead will be challenging, but let’s not let worry or fear overtake us. Instead, let it propel us to respond with common sense, courage and compassion.