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Minnesota COVID-19 Update: March 16, 2020

Tuesday, March 17, 2020   (0 Comments)
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By the numbers

COVID-19 cases on 3/16 - 1,893 tested and 54 positive cases

Updates from the Governor

Following the Minnesota Department of Public Health’s announcement today that the number of COVID-19 cases in Minnesota climbed past 50 with multiple cases of community transmission, 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.

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.

“As the cases of COVID-19 in Minnesota continue to climb, we must take decisive action to curb the spread of this pandemic and protect the health and safety of Minnesotans,” said Governor Walz. “This is a challenging time for business owners, employees, children and families alike. We must come together as One Minnesota to care for our neighbors and slow the spread of COVID-19.”

Affected businesses must close by 5:00 pm on Tuesday, March 17. Delivery and curbside take-out services are still permitted with community mitigation strategies in place.

Yesterday, Governor Walz signed Executive Order 20-02, directing schools to temporarily close to students by Wednesday, March 18, and for administrators and teachers to engage in long-term strategic planning to provide distance learning, meals, and other essential services for students and their families. 

This followed Friday's announcement declaring a peacetime emergency to ensure the State of Minnesota is able respond to more rapidly to issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic as they arise.

Counties with positive cases as of 3/16

Up-to-date guidance from the Minnesota Department of Health on recommended community mitigation strategies can be found here.

Everyone can work to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Take the same precautions recommended for avoiding colds and flu:

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
  • Cover your cough.

Staying home when sick is a fundamental "stop the spread" tip. During an outbreak, we strongly encourage employees to not go to work when sick. Staying home when sick protects not only other individual employees but also the larger workforce of an organization and those you come into contact with at work.

Think about backup plans for child care when school is closed or when parents, children, or a child care provider is sick. Think about necessary items to have at home, including prescription medicines (check your refill dates), and non-prescription medications, such as fever-reducing medications.

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