Senator Kari Dziedzic Responds to Governor Walz’s COVID-19 Recommendations

St. Paul, Minn.—State Senator Kari Dziedzic (DFL-Minneapolis) released the following statement in response to Governor Walz’s recommendations for dealing with Coronavirus/COVID-19.

Sen. Dziedzic statement:

“We started off the week with Gov. Walz signing a bill into law to appropriate nearly $21 million in funds to Minnesota’s public health response contingency account. The legislation was passed urgently and with unanimous bipartisan support.

In addition to signing the funding bill into law, the governor has activated the joint emergency operations center to work on the issue as it develops. Executive branch agencies are prepared to move forward with further contingency plans, including hiring additional health care professionals.

The Capitol is the people’s house so it will not be closing, but we will be following community mitigation strategies outlined by the MN Department of Health. Beginning Monday, March 16, out of an abundance of caution, there will be limited access to Senate office suites and staff areas to help slow the spread of the disease. Appointments will need to be made in advance. Larger groups may still be accommodated in certain public conference rooms or in general areas of the building. We are also looking at the possibility of conference call meetings.

Governor Walz held a COVID-19 press conference Friday afternoon regarding the community mitigation efforts. He signed Executive Order 20-01 declaring a peacetime emergency, which under law grants him additional authorities to respond to the situation. They will be following the best practices directed by the CDC. The Executive Order can be read here: https://mn.gov/governor/assets/EO%2020-01_tcm1055-422957.pdf

Earlier this week, DFL leaders in the House announced a second package of COVID-19 preparedness legislation to address a range of interconnected concerns. Gov. Walz’s recommendations are closely aligned with many of the House DFL leaders’ bills.

In my conversations with the University of Minnesota, we talked about ensuring students continue to be allowed in dorms with food options, and I am fighting to get workers access to emergency funds so those who are sick can stay home to avoid spreading this virus or influenza A or B. It is important I continue my work with colleagues to ensure firefighters, emergency responders, and health care professionals have guidance on best practices to minimize disease spread to them and testing if they become ill.  

I have also had discussions with MPHA and other low-income housing providers to make sure they have protocols enacted to keep residents informed about the changing situation, including residents with some language barriers to ensure we have protocols in place to keep residents safe.”

A more extensive list of guidelines for dealing with COVID-19 can be found here:

https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/action.pdf

Senator Kari Dziedzic
Kari Dziedzic represents District 60, which includes Seward, Cedar Riverside, Southeast and Northeast Minneapolis.

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