MN Indian Affairs Council: COVID-19 Resources



New COVID-19 Funding Opportinities Released Today: Diverse Media Messaging and Community Engagement

The Minnesota Department of Health released two Requests for Service today for contracts related to COVID-19 diverse media messaging and community engagement to increase understanding of and participation in COVID-19 vaccination, testing, case investigation, and contact tracing. The proposal submission deadline for both funding opportunities is December 28, 2020.

1. Community-based Organizations and Tribes for COVID-19 Outreach and Engagement

This Request for Services will ask community-based organizations and Tribes to propose a plan for culturally relevant, linquistically appropriate and timely community engagement activities to aid the state in engaging communities around COVID-19 vaccines, testing, case interviews, contact tracing, and other topics. Organizations and Tribes will be asked to learn about community questions and needs related to COVID-19; work with the State and its partners to address those community needs; and connect communities to information and resources related to COVID-19 vaccines, testing, case interviews, contact tracing, and other topics. The primary audience(s) for community engagement must include people of color, American Indians, LGBTQ communities, and/or disability communities in Minnesota.

  • Funding: $1,500,000 available for multiple contracts.
  • Target Audience of Request for Services: Community-based organizations and tribes; priority will be given to entities that are led by people of color, American Indians, LGBTQ individuals, and/or individual with disabilities.
  • Informational Webinar: Tuesday, Dec. 15, 11 am - 12 pm Join Community Engagement Request for Services Info Session Meeting number (access code): 146 168 0605 Meeting password: Start123 or join by phone 1-855-282-6330

2. Diverse Media Vendors for COVID-19 Communications

This Request for Services asks vendors to propose a plan for media services to help MDH in getting culturally relevant, linguistically appropriate, accurate, and timely messages related to COVID-19 to communities of color, American Indian communities, LGBTQ communities, and disability communities in Minnesota. Media services may include formats such as online and social media, radio, television, and print. Vendors are encouraged to use methods of communication that are effective while people maintain social distancing.

  • Funding: $1,500,000 available for multiple contracts
  • Target Audience of Request for Services: Media vendors; priority will be given to media vendors who are owned/led/operated by people of color, American Indians, LGBTQ individuals, and/or individuals with disabilities
  • Information Webinar: Wednesday, Dec. 16, 1-2 pm Join Diverse Media Request for Services Info Session Meeting number 146 208 9875 meeting password: Start123 or join by phone: 1-855-282-6330

MDH will make final selections of contractors based on a competitive review of proposals, while also ensuring that the final cohort of selected contractors covers a range of racial, ethnic and cultural communities and geographic areas in Minnesota. Current contractors of MDH will be eligible to apply. Please note that organizations funded by MDH or DEED through the COVID Community Coordinators initiative for 2021 are not eligible to respond to this Request for Services.

Please visit the COVID-19 Contracts for Diverse Media Messaging and Community Outreach page for more information.


Governor's Office is Hiring Temporary Staff

The Governor's Office is looking to hire temporary staff to serve as Public Engagement Correspondence Aides, COVID-19 Response. The temporary positions can work until the end of the year, and will work with the Governor's Office Public Engagement Dept. This position will support the Public Engagement Team by responding to COVID-19 related messages and constituent contacts. Their primary responsibility will be to answer questions and concerns raised by people in Minnesota. This position reports to the Constituent Services Manager but will work closely with the entire Governor's Office staff in order to get the correct responses out to constituents in a timely fashion. Interested candidates should submit a resume and cover letter to Positions will remain open until filled, so please encourage interested candidates to apply soon. Part-time and full-time positions available.


COVID-19 Public Health Support Funds for Child Care

About 7,300 providers may be eligible for COVID-19 Public Health Support Funds for Child Care from the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS). The non-competitive grants, totaling $53 million, will help family childcare providers and childcare providers and childcare centers cover the costs of safeguarding the health and safety of children and staff for three months.

Providers were sent an email from DHS with a link to an online application. Providers must submit their application by 5pm on October 14 to receive funding. Home childcare providers could get up to $1,200 a month from October through December, while licensed centers may be eligible for up to $8,500 a month. Certified centers that care for school-age students could get up to $3,000 a month. For technical assistance, contact Child Care Aware of Minnesota at 651-290-9704 or For child care resources related to COVID-19, including public health guidance, visit


Propel - COVID-19 Recovery Grants for Nonprofits

Request for Proposals: Propel nonprofits is seeking proposals for COVID-19 Recovery Grants for Nonprofits. Nonprofits and fiscally sponsored organizations invited to apply are those led by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and serving BIPOC communities, an organizational budget size between $100,000 and $2 million, and that has been in operation a minimum of 1 year. Grants awarded will be general operating funds; will benifit organizations across various fields of service; and will benefits culturally specific and historically underserved communities.

These grants are intended to support nonprofits in their response to and recovery from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including resulting financial impacts on operations and effects on communities served.

Propel's COVID-19 Recovery Grants for Nonprofits are made possible with funding from the Minnesota Disaster Recovery Fund (MDRF), created by the Minnesota Council on Foundations and Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation to support community needs as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Visit our website for more information.


Minnesota Peacetime Emergency Extended

Gov. Tim Walz signed Executive Order 20-97 on November 12, 2020, extending the peacetime emergency that has been put in place to allow the state flexibility in dealing with the changing status in the COVID-19 pandemic.

The peacetime emergency was first declared in March. According to a release from the governor's office, the peacetime emergency protects Minnesotans against evictions and wage garnishment. It provides additional PPE and other equipment needed and allows the state to re-open following the advice of public health experts. The order also requires Minnesotans to wear a face covering in certain settings to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The Executive Order has been extended through December 12, 2020, unless it is rescinded or terminated by a majority vote of each house of the Legislature.


Free COVID-19 testing

Registration is available online in English, Hmoob, Espanol, and Soomaali, or by phone at 1-855-612-0677.

Additional Information:

  • Open to everyone.
  • Free, no insurance needed.
  • Symptoms or no symptoms.
  • Drive-thru or walk-up.
  • Pre-registration recommended, but not required.
  • Interpreters available onsite.

COVID-19 Saliva Testing

Governor Walz and Lieutenant Governor Flanagan announced the expansion of the state's saliva testing program, including the opening of new saliva testing sites and a pilot of the mail order program.

Saliva testing has been underway in Duluth since September 23, testing began in Winona this past Wednesday, and will begin in Moorhead on Saturday, October 17 and in Brooklyn Park on Tuesday, October 20. These semi-permanent sites will offer free saliva tests to any Minnesotan who believes they need to be tested, as part of the state's strategy to provide easy access to quick, reliable testing. The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) will open an additional six sites later this month - two in Greater Minnesota and four more in the metro area - for a total of 10 such sites across the state. Details on those locations will be announced when available. Full details can be found on the COVID-19 Community Saliva Testing website. These sites will offer free saliva tests to any Minnesotan who believes they need to be tested.

The semi-permanent testing sites are part of the state's broader saliva testing program, which will also include a mail order program. The COVID-19 Testing at Home program will allow Minnesotans to register online and receive their at-home testing kit via UPS. State officials are finalizing some details of the program and expect to launch a pilot in several counties soon. The program is also being piloted by faculty and staff at the University of Minnesota and Minnesota State Colleges and University.

These tests will be processed in Minnesota at the new Infinity Biologix (IBX) COVID saliva lab in Oakdale, Minnesota, which will open next week. The new lab will reduce shipping time by allowing samples to be couriered from collection sites in the state instead of being shpped to the IBX lab in New Jersey. At full operating capacity, the lab will employ up to 250 Minnesotans. More details of opening day will be announced soon. Please share the saliva testing graphics on your social networking sites.



June 30, 2020: Governor Walz and Lt. Governor Flanagan announced a public-private partnership of philanthropic and business leaders from across Minnesota to meet the technology and connectivity needs of families who have children in school. The partnership, ConnectedMN, is led by Best Buy, Comcast, Blandin Foundation, Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation and the Minnesota Business Partnership, in collaboration with the State of Minnesota.

Before the start of the upcoming school year, ConnectedMN's goal is to bring technology and internet access to students across the state, especially communities most in need, including Indigenous students and students of color, students from low-income families, and families who live in rural Minnesota.

Click here to learn more. Individuals and organizations are invited to get involved and support these efforts.


Minnesota State Agency Information

U.S. Federal Government Information