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March 16, 2020: COVID-19 update to counties

From: "Ratzmann, Eric M (DHS)" <Eric.Ratzmann@state.mn.us>
To: DHS County Partners
Date: March 16, 2020 
Subject: COVID-19 Update 3-16-2020

County partners,

Thank you for your partnership in ensuring we keep health and human services going during these very challenging times. COVID-19 safety for the people of Minnesota and ensuring services continue is the Department of Human Services’ top priority.

We appreciate your questions as you conduct continuity of services plans. Your input has been extremely valuable to our planning. We encourage you to continue sending your questions and identifying challenges. Some of the issues you’ve raised would require a waiver of state statute. We are working closely with the legislature to provide the needed authority and flexibility to respond to the considerations that would need a change in state law.  Additionally, we are committed to working with counties and tribes to report back to the legislature on any additional costs that result to your agencies from authorities granted to DHS during this time.  Please watch for additional updates on this.

Furthermore, staff at the Department are working around the clock to ensure that the information and resources you need are available including:

  • A DHS COVID-19 website: https://mn.gov/dhs/covid-19/
  • A list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) that we have received from counties and tribes that will be posted the DHS COVID-19 website.
  • Utilizing the DHS Help Desks to respond to questions from business partners and providers.
  • A special hotline for child care providers: 1-888-234-1268 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

We also want to share the following resources that may be helpful:

Finally, we are creating opportunities (e.g. webinars, conference calls) to hear directly from you on how we can best support you. Please expect follow up communications with additional details soon.

Thank you for your commitment in working together to address these challenges and for all your work in service to the people in your local communities and the state of Minnesota.

Eric Ratzmann

County Relations Director | External Relations
Minnesota Department of Human Services

Elmer L. Anderson Building
540 Cedar Street,
St. Paul, MN 55101
O: 651-431-2020
C: 651-587-1072
mn.gov/dhs

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