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COVID-19 Update #4: Stay-at-Home Extention, Other Info
Many of you are celebrating a religious holiday right now. I would like to wish you all well. The current health crisis is making traditional celebrations impossible, but technology is making it possible to communicate with families and friends. I hope all of you are able to connect with loved ones and find comfort in one another. We will all need the continued strength and support of each other to make it through this storm.
Governor Walz Extends Stay at Home Order
Minnesotans have been doing a great job following the social distancing orders. We are leading the country when it comes to flattening the curve. However, we aren’t out of the woods yet, and if we go back to “normal” we would undo everything our sacrifice has won us. That’s why it is important that Governor Walz extended the Stay at Home order until May 4th. What we are doing is working, now we just have to find the strength to keep it up. You can keep up to date on everything related to COVID-19 here
Legislature Passes Workers’ Compensation Bill
We gathered remotely on Tuesday to pass critical legislation to ensure that healthcare workers, first responders, and home health aides are eligible for workers' compensation in the unfortunate event that they contract COVID-19 while serving Minnesotans during this public health crisis. In particular, the legislation provides a presumption that if these workers contract COVID-19, they did so during the course of their employment and are covered by workers' compensation.
Which First Responders are Covered by the Bill?
Here is a list of the occupations that are covered by the presumption in the bill:
- Peace officer,
- Emergency medical technician (EMT),
- Health care provider, nurse or assistive employee in a health care, home care or long-term care setting who works with COVID-19 patients,
- Nurse, health care worker, correctional officer or security counselor at a correctional facility, and
- Child care providers who are required to provide child care for the children of first responders and health care workers under the governor’s executive orders.
Under the bill, workers in the occupations listed above are presumed to be eligible for workers' comp if they can show a positive laboratory test for COVID-19, which includes a written copy of the test. If a laboratory test was not available for a particular worker, they could provide a written diagnosis for COVID-19 based on the worker’s symptoms from a licensed physician, licensed physician’s assistant or licensed advanced practice registered nurse (APRN).
Update on Unemployment Insurance
Here is updated unemployment information after the U.S. Congress passed the CARES Act.
- The $600 increase to your benefits will be included once you've requested benefit payments for this week (the week of March 29th), and for every week after this week for which you are eligible for benefits.
- For the 13 week extension of benefits: Just keep requesting weekly benefits, even if the website shows that you have exhausted your benefits. DEED will determine who is eligible.
- For self-employed and contract workers, DEED hopes to be able to distribute benefits before the end of April. The US Dept. of Labor needs to issue instructions for states before funds can be dispersed. Here is a special step-by-step guide for self-employed and contract workers to apply for unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Stay in Touch
Please feel free to reach out to me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
or by phone at 651-296-3533. If you have a friend, neighbor, or relative who wants to receive updates about the Legislature, let them know they can subscribe to my email list here. You can also follow me on Facebook here. It’s an honor to represent our community. Please stay in touch.
State Representative MN House District 51A