Minnesota COVID-19 Response Site: mn.gov/covid19
HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
Dashboard tracking COVID-19 in Minnesota can be found here
Hotline for Health Questions: 651-201-3920 or 1-800-657-3903 (7 am-7 pm daily) or visit https://www.health.state.mn.us
Governor Walz and MNsure announced a 30-day special enrollment period (SEP) for qualified individuals who are currently without insurance. The SEP opened on March 23 and runs through April 21. It will allow uninsured individuals 30 days to enroll in health insurance coverage through MNsure.org
Department of Human Services:
A number of updates and resources that can be accessed here. If you are receiving services or would like to see what is available, go online to learn more about the programs and services administered by DHS.
MDH coronavirus webpages in other languages:
Information in other non-English languages:
COVID-19 in Amharic (PDF)
COVID-19 in Arabic (PDF)
COVID-19 in Chinese (PDF)
COVID-19 in Hmong (PDF)
COVID-19 in Karen (PDF)
COVID-19 in Russian (PDF)
COVID-19 in Somali (PDF)
COVID-19 in Spanish (PDF)
COVID-19 in Vietnamese (PDF)
Online resources, virtual community programs, and caregiver tips are available here.
Senior LinkAge Line: 1-800-333-2433. Senior LinkAge Line specialists assist seniors in finding the resources and services they need.
Alzheimer’s Association of Minnesota-North Dakota: 24/7 helpline: 800-272-3900
Leading Age Minnesota has a number of tools & resources for caregivers to utilize, including visitation guidance, information on state and federal funding, and other resources for prevention and monitoring, all of which can be found here
Crisis Text Line:
24/7 emergency service available if you or someone you know is experiencing a psychiatric or mental health crisis. Text “MN” to 741741
County Crisis Contacts:
Access a directory of mental health crisis phone numbers by county here:
Talk to a specialist who has firsthand experience living with a mental health condition by calling the Minnesota Warmline at 651-288-0400 or texting “Support” to 85511
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:
Available 24/7 to those in distress, for prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones. Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Substance abuse and mental health services helpline:
Offers crisis counseling and support if you or a family member is experiencing emotional distress related to a disaster. Call 1-800-985-5990
Peer support connection warmlines:
Peer-to-peer telephone support that’s safe and supportive. Open 5p.m. to 9a.m. by calling or texting 844-739-6369
Resources to support mental well-being for children and families:
- Supporting Mental Promotion during COVID-19 (MDH)
- Mental and Behavioral Health Resources During COVID19 (MDH)
- Supporting people who have disabilities during COVID-19
K-12 EDUCATION & CHILDCARE
Hotline for School and Childcare questions: 651-297-1304 or 1-800-657-3504 (7 am-7 pm daily)
Hotline for Childcare Providers with questions: 1-888-234-1268
Updates about K-12 education from the Minnesota Department of Education can be found online here
Information on childcare for families and providers can be found online here
Meals for kids:
MDE announced a new app/website that can be used to locate free meals for kids, in addition to what districts are doing: www.hungerimpactpartners.org.
EMPLOYMENT AND HOUSING
Hotline for workers and employers: 651-259-7114 or 800-657-3858, or visit www.mn.gov/deed
Hotlines for housing questions: available M-F, 8 – 5 pm
For single-family residences: 651-296-8215
For multi-family residences: 651-297-4455
Visit this website for questions about unemployment insurance or to apply for UI benefits.
UI programs and how they will roll out:
- Self-Employed/Independent contractors:
- Congress authorized a new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program that covers those who do not qualify for regular UI benefits. The program was authorized but must be created by the states (each state must build such a program). The program is based on one that MN has run before, the Disaster Unemployment Assistance program, but we are still waiting for federal guidance on some of the nuance of the program including who will qualify for the benefits and how those benefits will be calculated. Benefits will be backdated to eligibility. DEED will share more information as we receive it, but our UI team is working hard on figuring out the next steps and a roll-out plan. This is likely to happen as the second component of the federal UI changes.
- Additional Benefits:
- Top up- The federal legislation “topped up” UI benefits, PUA benefits and extended UI benefits by $600/week until July 31, 2020. The UI team is working on how we will implement this and the timeline. This will likely happen as the first component of the federal UI changes.
DEED noted the top job vacancies right now: transportation/material moving, sales and grocery, office/computer, healthcare. The state’s career force network is important for people trying to find work and has moved to a virtual service model (remote services, video conferencing) at Careerforcemn.com.
Small Business Emergency Loans that can be obtained from a local lender – you can find FAQs, application materials and lenders at the link. These loans are for $2,500 to $35,000 and at 0% interest rate. There is a total of $30 million available for this program.
Small Business Loan Guarantee Program which can be obtained from a local bank lender. This program was part of the state COVID package and provided a loan guarantee for loans made by a Qualified Economic Development Lender who can lend up to $200,000 within this program. This program is intended to incent the private market to make loans to small businesses and provides an 80% guarantee for those loan dollars. The state is providing a loan guarantee of $10 million with is likely to leverage between $20 and $25 million in lending by private banks.
City Loan Funds: Cities also have more flexibility due to the executive order and state COVID package with their own loan funds to support retail and service providers – businesses can reach out to their own city’s economic development departments to see if they have resources to assist as well. Cities choose their own loan terms but can follow the state’s lead in making loans with low or 0% interest rates and forgivability.
Tax provisions relevant to small businesses:
Note that neither of these is available to businesses receiving assistance through the Paycheck Protection Program.
- Employee Retention Credit for Employers Subject to Closure or Experiencing Economic Hardship
- This provides a refundable payroll tax credit for 50 percent of wages paid by eligible employers to certain employees during the COVID-19 crisis.
- The credit is available to employers, including non-profits, whose operations have been fully or partially suspended as a result of a government order limiting commerce, travel or group meetings or who have experienced a greater than 50 percent reduction in quarterly receipts, measured on a year-over-year basis.
- The credit is not available to employers receiving assistance through the Paycheck Protection Program. The credit is provided through December 31, 2020.
- Delay of Payment of Employer Payroll Taxes
- Allows taxpayers to defer paying the employer portion of certain payroll taxes through the end of 2020, with all 2020 deferred amounts due in two equal installments, one at the end of 2021, the other at the end of 2022.
- Payroll taxes that can be deferred include the employer portion of FICA taxes, the employer and employee representative portion of Railroad Retirement taxes (that are attributable to the employer FICA rate), and half of SECA tax liability.
- Deferral is not provided to employers receiving assistance through the Paycheck Protection Program.
- Assistance with filling out these applications:
Metro Transit: stay up to date on transit changes due to COVID by visiting their website.
- Minnesota Association of Community Health Centers for free/low-cost/community health care centers
- Minnesota Community Care also offers low-cost care
- Community Health Service offers free/low-cost care catered to agricultural workers (bilingual services available)
- City of Minneapolis COVID-19 Response Fund (Español, Soomaali, Oromo)
- St. Paul Bridge Fund:
- Website Principal HERE
- Bridge Fund for Families and Small Businesses Google Doc in Spanish translated by UNIDOS MN
- Free and confidential legal support for Minnesota renters (in multiple languages)
Report discrimination on account of COVID-19 (translation services available):
- Complete and submit this online form
- Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Call us at 651-539-1133 or 1-800-657-3704
Governor Walz’s Stay-at-Home Executive Order
- Governor Walz issued a Stay-at-Home Order on March 27, lasting until April 10, which can be read here. NOTE: The order was extended on April 30 and will last until May 18. More information can be found on mn.gov/covid19.
- Guidance on the order, including information on critical workers exempted from the order, can be found here.
- The governor’s office has compiled an FAQ page about the order, which can be accessed online here.
There is now a hotline and email for residents to report violations: 651-793-3746 or email@example.com
- Guidance for the latest Executive Order on opening certain businesses back up: