St. PAUL, Minn. – In response to the potential risk of Coronavirus exposure to Minnesotans at the Minnesota State Capitol, three DFL members of the Legislature, Senator Matt Klein (DFL-Mendota Heights), Representative Alice Mann (DFL-Lakeville), and Representative Kelly Morrison (DFL-Deephaven) released the following statement and list of proposed policies to implement to help mitigate exposure risk:
“We are physicians and legislators and serve in the Minnesota House and Senate. Like all Minnesotans, we are concerned about the spread of COVID-19 in our state. As members of the medical community and the Legislature, we want to be sure that we are taking steps to limit the risk of community spread of the virus. There is evidence that “flattening the curve” of this infection by slowing viral spread through social isolation will allow the healthcare system to catch up and not become overwhelmed. This will allow the system to be best prepared for the possibility of needing to provide appropriate ICU care to those who may need it. This will be vital to prevent mortality in high-risk populations.*
The Minnesota Capitol is the people’s house, and we believe it is important to keep the Capitol buildings open and functioning. Having said that, there are steps that we can take to decrease transmission within these buildings, short of closing them to the public entirely. To that end, we suggest the following:
- Cancel any large gatherings involving community members.
- Avoid large gatherings within the Capitol Building, the State Office Building, and the Minnesota Senate Building.
- Do not shake hands and avoid touching your face.
- Stay home if you are sick.
- Institute hand washing protocols (have antiseptic hand wash with 60% alcohol available) for all members and the public when they enter a community space such as a hearing room or cafeteria.
- Create cleaning/wipe down protocols to sanitize desks/door handles/high touch areas at the end of each day.
- Clean your phone once a day.
- Recommend that volunteers/visitors over the age of 60 or with conditions that compromise the immune system avoid non-essential travel.
- Recommend that people not gather in groups to eat in the cafeteria.
- Set aside an office as an “isolation area” for anyone who develops fevers or flu-like symptoms while at the Capitol.
Thank you for your consideration of these important steps to keep our community safe!”
Senator Matt Klein, MD
State Representative Alice Mann, MD
State Representative Kelly Morrison, MD