Governor Walz announced yesterday that the stay at home order will remain in effect until Monday, May 18. The extended order has been modified to get more Minnesotans safely back to work. Starting on May 4, retail shops and non-critical businesses can start offering curbside pickup and delivery. More details are available here.
Our efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 are working. People are staying home, staying safe, and giving public health officials time to prepare for the worst of the pandemic. We need to stick with it while increasing our state’s ability to test, trace, and isolate cases. This is the best way to keep Minnesotans safe as we start reopening parts of our economy and society.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Available
Unemployment assistance is now available for self-employed workers, independent contractors, and others who aren’t eligible for regular unemployment benefits. Last week, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) finished implementing the new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program and began making payments to eligible workers.
If you’ve already applied for regular unemployment benefits, you don’t need to do anything extra to qualify for PUA. DEED will contact you if you’re eligible for these benefits. If you haven’t applied yet, special instructions for self-employed people and independent contractors are available here. Additional information, including answers to frequently asked questions, can be found here.
Share Your Input on Resuming Elective Surgeries
Necessary surgeries and treatment have continued during the COVID-19 pandemic, but elective procedures have been put on hold. The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has been working hard to allow elective surgeries to resume while preserving personal protective equipment (PPE) and hospital capacity. MDH is asking Minnesotans to provide feedback as they develop guidance for elective procedures. You can share your input here until Saturday, May 2.
Mask Drive Update
Minnesotans donated more than 137,430 masks during the statewide drive that I mentioned in my last email! These masks will be delivered to local congregate living facilities across the state.
I hope you and your loved ones are safe and healthy. Please feel free to contact me if I can be of assistance during these challenging times.