Saturday, April 25, 2020
Positive developments related to a COVID-19 response in Minnesota unfolded this week. Thanks to the Governor, Mayo Clinic, the University of Minnesota, and Hennepin Healthcare, our state now has now significantly increased our testing capacity- up to 20,000 Minnesotans per day. Minnesotans can find a testing location on the newly launched COVID-19 website here.
Data shows that social distancing is working in our state to help slow the spread of the virus, but we’re not out of the woods yet. We must continue to keep up these science-driven practices guided by the CDC and Minnesota Department of Health to ensure we aren’t jeopardizing our progress.
Getting Minnesotans Safely Back to WorkThe Governor also announced this week executive action to get approximately 80,000-100,000 Minnesotans back to work starting on April 27. This will be a gradual process, starting with workers in non-customer facing industrial and office-based businesses who aren’t able to telework. As testing increases, positive cases can be isolated, and health care capacity increases, we can continue “turning the dials” to reopen more businesses. More information about this process is available here.
Distance Learning ExtendedOn Thursday, it was announced that distance learning for our K-12 schools will continue until the end of the school year. On Friday, Governor Walz, Lt. Governor Flannagan, and Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) Commissioner Ricker announced increased efforts to reach students during the extension of distance learning. Those efforts include increased direction from MDE on meeting the needs of students and their families around technology, mental health, and other services. Additional direction on how to make distance learning successful for students with special needs will also be forthcoming.
Unemployment Insurance Available for Self-Employed Workers Yesterday, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) began making Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) payments for self-employed, contract, and other workers who were not previously eligible for regular unemployment benefits.
Here’s what Minnesotans need to know about applying for PUA:
Save the Date!Please save the date for our upcoming virtual town hall meeting on April 29 at 6:00 p.m. I’ll be joined by our City Councilmember Jane Prince, Metropolitan Councilmember Chai Lee, and Ramsey County Commissioner Jim McDonough. It will be broadcast live via fb.me/repjayxiong. If you have questions for the event, you can submit them ahead of time to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep in TouchEven if you can’t join us next week, please always feel free to contact me anytime with ideas, input, and questions. Being your state representative is a great honor and privilege, and I appreciate the opportunity to help when it’s needed.
Have a good weekend.
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