3/17/2020 4:49:46 PM
[ST. PAUL, MN] – Governor Tim Walz today signed Ch. 70 S.F. 4334 into law, allocating $200 million toward an emergency and long-term grant program to respond to the needs of health care and long-term care facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our health care facilities are Minnesota’s first line of defense against COVID-19,” Governor Walz said. “I am proud of this urgent, bipartisan action to support our state’s health care infrastructure during this unprecedented public health event.”
“Protecting the health and safety of Minnesotans during the COVID-19 pandemic means investing in our state’s health care infrastructure,” said Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan. “Our goal must be to slow the spread of COVID-19 and prevent our health care system from being overwhelmed, so that every patient gets the care that they need when they need it.”
The bill appropriates $50 million to the state’s public health response contingency account and $150 million to create a health care response fund which would be used to distribute grants. Any funds still in the account on February 1, 2021 will be returned to the General Fund.
The Minnesota Department of Health today announced that the number of COVID-19 cases in Minnesota has risen to 60, including cases of community transmission with no known travel link. Governor Walz yesterday announced the /governor/assets/2020_03_16_EO_20_04_Bars_Restaurants_tcm1055-423380.pdftemporary closure of Minnesota restaurants and bars to dine-in customers as well as the closure of other places of public accommodation and amusement.
On Sunday, Governor Walz announced the temporary closure of Minnesota K-12 public schools to students in order for school administrators and teachers to make long-term plans for the continuity of education and essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic. This action includes provisions to provide care for the children of health care professionals, first responders, and emergency workers, and requires schools to continue providing meals to students in need. Last week, the Governor declared a peacetime emergency in Minnesota and endorsed community mitigation strategies to combat the spread of COVID-19.