Minnesota COVID-19 Response Site: mn.gov/covid19
HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
Updated quarantine guidance on Dec. 7, 2020 can be found here
Dashboard tracking COVID-19 in Minnesota can be found here
Helpline for COVID-19 pandemic questions: 651-297-1304 or 1-800-657-3504 (Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) or visit https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/index.html
Helpline for immigrants and refugees on COVID-19 pandemic questions: 651-318-0989 (Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
If you have recently lost or will lose insurance through your employer, you may qualify for a special enrollment period to enroll in a plan through MNsure. This special enrollment period is available year-round to qualifying individuals. To enroll, you must contact MNsure and pick a plan within 60 days of losing employer coverage. To avoid a gap in coverage, you can contact MNsure up to 60 days in advance of your employer’s plan ending to begin the enrollment process.
All private health insurance plans sold on MNsure are waiving cost sharing for COVID-19 testing and COVID-19 in-network hospitalization through March 31, 2021. These plans will also waive co-pays, deductibles and co-insurance for the COVID-19 vaccine as it becomes available.
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.
Waivers and modifications on different assistance and state programs: https://mn.gov/dhs/waivers-and-modifications/
MDH coronavirus webpages in other languages:
Information in other non-English languages:
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
Mental Health Crisis Line:
- Call: **CRISIS (**274747)
- 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
Free meals and assistance programs can be found here.
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 Information for Workers:
For weeks of unemployment between March 29, 2020– July 25, 2020: $600 per week additional payments were available to anyone receiving regular or extended unemployment benefits. This program is now expired.
For weeks of unemployment between July 26, 2020 – September 5, 2020: $300 per week additional payments were available to eligible applicants receiving regular or extended unemployment benefits. This program is now expired.
For weeks of unemployment between December 27, 2020 – March 14, 2021: $300 per week additional payments are available to anyone receiving regular or extended unemployment benefits.
UI Information for Independent contractors and self employed individuals:
Under the original text of the CARES Act, PUA benefits were available for a maximum of 39 weeks and set to expire on December 26, 2020.
Under the new stimulus law signed on December 27, 2020, PUA benefits can now last for 11 more weeks (up to a maximum of 50 weeks).
The first week of PUA benefits under the new law is the week beginning December 27, 2020. You will be able to request payment for this week on or after January 3, 2021.
The last week of PUA under the new law is the week ending April 10, 2021.
- Your account will be transitioned automatically. You will not need to re-apply.
- Your benefit amount will not change.
- Keep requesting payment each week you are unemployed.
Please note that the stimulus legislation included some new PUA eligibility requirements. This means we may need to ask you for more information over the next several weeks. Please check your email and your online account regularly for updates.
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 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 which 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.
This link may provide helpful information on local funding opportunities on a county level: https://www.mnchamber.com/blog/local-covid-19-resource-database
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: https://www.claconnect.com/resources/articles/2021/new-law-clarifies-and-expands-cares-act-employee-retention-credit
- 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.
- The Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act (06/05/2020) strikes the rule that an employer who received PPP would be illegible from deferring the deposit and payment of the employer’s share of Social Security tax.
- 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’S “ADJUSTING THE DIALS”
Governor’s program can be found at this site: https://mn.gov/covid19/stay-safe/stay-safe-plan/index.jsp