MN Government Updates 07.06

Walz Requests Federal Support to Help Rebuild After Civil Unrest

Last week, Governor Tim Walz requested financial support from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help Minnesota rebuild after civil unrest damaged public infrastructure and caused extensive fire damage in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

“We’re asking our federal partners to step up and help our communities recover,” said Governor Walz. “We need to come together to ensure Minnesotans who were victims of this destruction have access to critical infrastructure they need so they can go to the grocery store, pick up their medication, and live their lives. Together, we will rebuild.”

“We are committed to helping our communities rebuild, but we can’t do this on our own,” said Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan. “While state, tribal, and local budgets are stretched thin by COVID-19, we need everyone to step up, including the federal government, to restore safety and critical infrastructure to our communities.”

Over 10,000 public safety officials contributed to the effort to restore peace and safety, including the first full mobilization of the Minnesota National Guard since World War II. However, nearly 1,500 Twin Cities businesses were damaged by vandalism, fire, or looting. Current estimates of the damage exceed $500,000,000.

The Governor is requesting that the President “declare a major disaster for the State of Minnesota because of extensive fire damage to public infrastructure caused by civil unrest.” A preliminary damage assessment found more than $15 million of eligible damages directly related to the fires. Federal assistance would reimburse local governments for debris removal, emergency protective measures, and damage to public buildings and equipment.

Minnesota Department of Health Briefing

This afternoon, officials from the Minnesota Department of Health conducted a press briefing with reporters to update the public on state efforts to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

Commissioner Jan Malcolm, Department of Health

  • Commissioner Malcolm announced the state now has 38,136 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19. This is up 434 over yesterday.
  • The average number of tests for the three-day holiday was 15,000 tests processed each day with an average of 450 positive tests each day.
  • There has been a 14.9% increase in the number of tests processed and a 7.6% increase in the number of positive results.
  • The median COVID-19 case age is 38.4-years-old.
  • The state now has had 1,471 deaths due to COVID-19. This is up eight over the long weekend.
  • Currently, 258 patients are hospitalized with 125 of those in the ICU.
  • Commissioner Malcolm also announced the state is updating key metrics on the COVID-19 dashboard.
  • The state is now increasing the threshold for tests per population per week.
  • The prior threshold was 50 tests for 10,000 people per week.
  • The new threshold is 100 tests for 10,000 people per week.
  • The state is also adding a new measure to track case growth. Instead of looking at case doubling time, the state is evaluating new cases per population by using the number of new cases per 100,000 people averaged over seven days. This allows for state officials to more easily identify outbreaks and compare populations within the state to each other.
  • When asked if there are any new developments on a statewide mask mandate, Commissioner Malcolm replied that conversations about implementing such a mandate are ongoing and that more input from stakeholders will be occurring in the coming days.

Amos A. Briggs | Government Relations
LOCKRIDGE GRINDAL NAUEN P.L.L.P.
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