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Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

We are working with other state agencies and the federal government to ensure services through the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. Return to this page for the latest information.

Governor’s Executive Orders create flexibility to serve vulnerable Minnesotans during COVID-19 pandemic: Governor Tim Walz granted the Minnesota Department of Human Services emergency temporary authority to change administrative and regulatory requirements for food assistance, home care, public health care and other state programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Find a complete list of temporary waivers and program modifications.

Updates for health care workers, license holders, county and tribal workers, grantees and other program administrators

Expect instructions for partners related to actions and process changes through regular communication channels including email messages and websites.

COVID-19 change your situation?

Are you receiving services now, or would you like to see what help is available, given the COVID-19 emergency? Find out what programs and services are available through DHS.


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We have seen daily changes in the state's response to COVID-19. To stay abreast of changes and their impacts to people who DHS serves and supports, sign up for email updates.

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Latest news

Temporary modification of DHS background studies and a suspension of enhanced background studies requirements for child care providers 
DHS temporarily modified certain statutory background study procedures for most providers during the COVID-19 pandemic in response to the peacetime state of emergency. The changes are necessary because completing studies that meet current state and federal requirements has become increasingly difficult due to closures of public fingerprinting sites and a lack of responses to requests for records from other states.

Minnesota bolsters health care programs in pandemic
Human services commissioner uses emergency authority to ensure people remain covered and can access care and prescriptions. During the coronavirus pandemic, Minnesotans who rely on Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare should know that their health care coverage is secure and that they have improved access to telemedicine and extended supplies of many prescription drugs. 

Modified requirements for licensed, certified and family child care providers
The Commissioner of Human Services has temporarily modified certain requirements for licensed family child care providers and child care centers, and certified child care centers, whose services have been designated as essential during the peacetime emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These changes build upon the modifications announced on March 20. These changes allow child care providers with more flexibility to operate in a pandemic and be able to focus on the most critical health and safety measures needed during this time.

Read more news

Federal actions affecting human service programs

President signs Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act
March 27, 2020 — President Trump has signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act into law. This legislation is the third stimulus package developed by Congress to combat COVID-19. Some congressional leaders have already signaled their intent to develop a fourth package in the foreseeable future.

DHS Commissioner letter to federal legislators
March 20, 2020 — Commissioner Jodi Harpstead writes to Minnesota's delegation to Congress to offer suggestions needed to help prevent the pandemic from disproportionately impacting the health and economic security of Minnesota's most vulnerable residents.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act
March 18, 2020 — The Families First Coronavirus Response Act was signed into law to provide emergency assistance related to COVID-19. The legislation includes several provisions to increase access to food assistance through SNAP and The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) as well as expanded coverage for diagnostic testing and treatment.

National emergency declared March 13
March 13, 2020 — President Trump declared a national emergency due to COVID-19. According to his remarks, the declaration will “open up access” to $50 billion additional dollars to help states prepare for and combat the pandemic. President Trump also announced that he will allow HHS to waive certain regulations and laws to expedite the delivery of testing and medical services.

Public charge determinations
U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that testing, treatment, and preventive care related to COVID-19 will not be included in public charge determinations. USCIS issued the notice to “address the possibility that some aliens impacted by COVID-19 may be hesitant to seek necessary medical treatment or preventive services.” USCIS also plans to include vaccines (if one is developed) in its definition of “preventive care.”

Executive orders

Securing Federal Authority to Continue Programs
March 20, 2020 — Executive Order 20-11 authorizes the DHS commissioner to seek federal authority to temporarily waive or modify certain requirements for federal economic support, health care and other programs to ensure they continue to provide support to Minnesota families.

Preserving Access to Human Services Programs
March 20, 2020 — Executive Order 20-12 allows DHS to temporarily issue waivers or modifications to state requirements to ensure that their services can be delivered to Minnesotans safely and without undue delay.

Read all executive orders

Coordinating agencies

Minnesota Department of Health
The Minnesota Department of Health coordinates the state's response to COVID-19. Find preparation recommendations, read the latest updates about virus containment and access resources for employers and health care providers at MDH.

Minnesota State Emergency Operations Center
The Minnesota State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) coordinates statewide news updates. The SEOC Hotline has activated to answer questions regarding Governor Walz’s executive order about statewide school closures through March 27. Staff from the departments of Education and Human Services will answer calls from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Metro: 651-297-1304, Greater Minnesota: 1-800-657-3504


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