We are still reeling from yesterday’s looting and rioting across the metro. Minneapolis and Saint Paul both had concentrated areas of real civil disturbance in response to the horrific killing of George Floyd on Monday. We will continue to keep you apprised of the situation as it progresses.
See a copy of the statement we released on Thursday here and latest news as of (time of email send) from the Pioneer Press here.
On Thursday evening, Governor Walz signed an Executive Order activating National Guard, stating “As Governor, I will always defend the right to protest, “it is how we express pain, process tragedy, and create change. That is why I am answering our local leaders’ request for Minnesota National Guard assistance to protect peaceful demonstrators, neighbors, and small businesses in Minnesota.” The National Guard Adjutant General will work with local government agencies to provide personnel, equipment, and facilities needed to respond to and recover from this emergency. Additionally, the Minnesota State Patrol will assist in public safety efforts for the next several days. Approximately 200 troopers will work with state, county, and local community and public safety partners. State Patrol helicopters and fixed wind aircraft will also be available to assist law enforcement officers on the ground.
For this upcoming weekend: Governor is planning to announce a curfew on Friday and Saturday nights: 8pm – 6am. Saint Paul will be following. Minneapolis already has announced curfew.
In terms of our tracking of the COVID-19 pandemic and our response:
Xcel Energy has donated $1.5 million to address food insecurity and other relief efforts in the eight states it serves and the Xcel Energy Foundation has created a matching gifts campaign that offered employees a 2-to-1 match on their donations generating more than $450,000 in donations in week!
Updates from the Governor
There was no Health Department media briefing held on Friday
Thursday’s Media Briefing
Hosted by Jan Malcolm and Infectious Disease Director Kris Ehresmann, was fairly short. It focused on outbreaks in long-term care facilities as well as at the protests being held around town related to the death of George Floyd.
Wednesday’s Governor Update
EO 20-63 Phase 2 of Stay Safe Minnesota Plan: continuing to safely reopen Minnesota's economy and ensure safe non-work activities during the COVID-19 peacetime emergency
Wednesday, MDH Commissioner Malcolm Update
Tested over 10,000 people over the holiday weekend.
Today the US crossed a dark milestone, the death of 100,000 people.
COVID disproportionately affects black Minnesotans (drawing connection to Floyd case).
Minnesota currently sits at a 16-day doubling rate for new infections. This is an encouraging number.
Minnesota is maintaining stable and moderate growth of new infections.
Latest modeling shows the peak is still not happening yet. Still much uncertainty whether cases will continue to plateau or surge over the summer.
ICU capacity is one area of concern. Some hospitals are already tapping into surge capacity.
There are public health concerns with large gatherings like the community and police protests that happened yesterday. Encourage participants to wear masks and follow distancing guidelines. Community spread continues to be a problem.
Sunrise Banks reminds us that PPP funds are still available. Reach out to your lender. Sunrise PPP loan applications can be submitted here.
The IRS has released new guidance in response to COVID-19 that impacts benefits election and enrollment time periods and certain claims activity during the Outbreak Period. The duration of the Outbreak Period is limited to up to one year from March 1, 2020. Recognizing the numerous challenges participants and beneficiaries already face as a result of the COVID-19 Outbreak, the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) and IRS thought it important to take steps to minimize the possibility of individuals losing benefits because of a failure to comply with certain pre-established timeframes. Additional information and FAQs on the guidance noted above can be found here.
Saint Paul: On Wednesday, Mayor Melvin Carter signed two executive orders for this phased reopening:
Executive Order 2020-09 requires masking for all city-controlled facilities and Saint Paul licensed businesses to protect public health.
In signing Executive Order 2020-10, Mayor Carter issued a set of short-term business license measures that support restaurants and bars in maximizing their ability to leverage surrounding spaces for outdoor patio seating without unduly raising the risks to public health and safety that Saint Paul’s regulations protect against.
These measures include:
The suspension of some off-street parking requirements for licensed restaurants and bars;
Simplified site plan review without additional fees;
Expediting the sidewalk cafe license application process for licensed restaurants and bars;
Rapid approval for parking area patios or sale space; and
Accelerated review and approval for street and park space use for patio or sale space.
City departments will begin reaching out to past sidewalk permit holders about the expedited application process and will develop plans for safe use of public right of ways in support of businesses efforts to reopen in June.
Roseville: On May 26, 2020, the Roseville City Council adopted Resolution 11708, allowing businesses to be granted temporary waivers to certain City Code requirements to promote physical and social distancing for business and faith organization activities during the COVID-19 health pandemic. See more information and apply for a temporary waiver at www.cityofroseville.com/TempWaiver.
COVID-19 update as of 5/28/2020 Confirmed cases in Minnesota: 22,947 Confirmed cases in U.S. (as of 5/28): over to 1.7M Confirmed cases globally (as of 5/28): over 5.8M Cases requiring hospitalization: 2,880 (representing 12.6% of total) #s currently hospitalized: 606 #s no longer needing to be isolated: 16,655 #s tested: 225,208 Total deaths in Minnesota: 967 (787/81.3% cases in long term care or assisted living facilities) Total deaths in U.S. (updated 5/28): over 101K Total deaths globally (updated 5/28): almost 360K Cases in Counties represented: Hennepin County: 7,695 (581 deaths) Ramsey County: 2,698 (110 deaths) Dakota County: 1,202 (49 deaths) Washington County: 576 (30 deaths)
Goff Public offers a communications playbook: No matter how you decide to pursue reopening, your audiences will be looking to you for transparent communication about these decisions. While communicating is more important than ever, this pandemic has turned our playbook on its head. As you begin communicating your reopening plans, here’s how they have reconsidered some new communications strategies for the COVID-19 era.
The U.S. Chamber published a new Paycheck Protection Program Guide to Forgiveness with an easy to understand explanation of what they need to do to apply for forgiveness of their PPP loans. Click here to download the guide.
Minnesota Retailers Association has created a web page for retailers re-opening that walks you through requirements and best practices.
Innovative Office Solutions has developed a return to work program guide they are generous enough to share here. They include ideas, products, and preparedness plan. Direct questions can be directed to Karla Gunderson.
If your small business is within ½ mile of Allianz Field, apply for a grant from the Neighbors United Funding Collaborative. This grant is specifically for small businesses within a half mile of Allianz Field with annual revenue below $3 million who are either a small business or nonprofit with a retail or service-based business model.