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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Michael Howard (DFL)

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Legislative Update - Responding to Skyrocketing COVID Cases

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Rep. Howard

Dear Neighbors,  

I hope this newsletter finds you and your loved ones safe and healthy. Over the past few weeks, Minnesota has seen some of its worst days yet in the COVID-19 pandemic, and though the promising news of effective vaccines gives us hope, it’s likely that darker days lie ahead.

Much of Minnesota’s success in combating this virus is depended on what additional resources we’ll be able to receive from the federal government, and to that end I drafted a letter along with my DFL colleagues in the Minnesota House calling on President Trump and Senate Majority Leader McConnell to return to the work of delivering sorely-needed economic relief. We need every level of government to work together to fight this pandemic and help Minnesotans and our small businesses weather these economic storms. You can read that letter here.  


New COVID-19 Measures 

Yesterday, Governor Walz announced new measures in Minnesota’s efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19, or rather, we returned to some of the familiar restrictions from last spring. Starting Friday at 11:59 p.m., bars and restaurants will only be open through take-out options, gyms and entertainment venues will close, and we’ll be putting a pause on youth sports.  

Pausing for COVID

These measures continue to be far from ideal, but the alternative is a Minnesota where our hospitals are overrun to the point where exhausted medical staff have to make decisions on who is able to receive care.  

If you have five minutes, please listen to my House colleague, Dr. Alice Mann, an ER doctor who has seen firsthand the impact of this terrible virus. You can listen here.  


Take Home Covid Tests 

There are several new options for getting tested for COVID-19, including a take home version. If you have symptoms, or have come in contact with someone with COVID-19, you should get tested. If you do not have symptoms, it is best to get tested at least 5 days after the last time you were close to a person with COVID-19. With the surge in cases, note that it can take several days to get your results. 

You can find more information on testing options here.  


Housing Assistance 

As we continue to encourage folks to stay home as much as they can, know that resources are available for those looking for affordable housing. As always, assistance in finding or paying for rental housing is available at Minnesota Housing, including a COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program for those impacted by the pandemic, which you can find more information on here.

As of October 15, Minnesota is now observing the Cold Weather Rule, which helps Minnesotans by ensuring all electric and natural gas companies work with residents to ensure homes stay safe and warm this winter. You can learn more about Minnesota’s Cold Weather Rule here


Stay Connected 

Though we’ll have another special session in December, the bulk of our work will begin again when the 2021 Legislative Session starts on January 5. To stay up to date with our efforts in the Minnesota House, be sure to subscribe to these legislative updates, and “like” my official Facebook page.  

If you have any questions about our work in the Minnesota House, or the resources available to our community, feel free to reach out at or (651) 296-7158. We’re going to get through this together, and your input is greatly appreciated.  


Be safe. Be well. Be kind.  


In partnership,  

Michael Howard