COVID – 19 Links

Dear Neighbors,

On Sunday, Governor Walz ordered the temporary closure of Minnesota K-12 public schools to allow school administrators and teachers to make long-term plans for the continuity of education and essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Schools will be closed to students on Wednesday, March 18 through Friday, March 27 to accommodate this planning between school staff, teachers, and administrators with guidance from the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH).

I am fully supportive of the difficult decision to close Minnesota schools in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. This is a step that will have far-reaching consequences for hundreds of thousands of Minnesota families. While my focus remains on helping Minnesotans navigate this crisis, I stand ready to assist the Walz administration with legislative changes that are needed to adjust school year or other requirements and mitigate the countless consequences an extended closure will have.

Additionally, I will continue working to represent our community, even as the Minnesota House’s daily operations are being altered amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

The House will formally remain in session as the state addresses the pressing public health issue surrounding COVID-19, with meetings and floor sessions taking place on an on-call basis until April 14. Alternate means of working will allow the House to respond to the needs of Minnesotans, while also fully complying with Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) guidelines including social distancing, limiting large gatherings, telework, and increased cleaning measures necessitated by COVID-19.

My top priority right now is to work to ensure the people of Minnesota are safe and cared for. That involves making sure constituents have the information and resources they need to make informed decisions to protect themselves and their families. Please continue to listen to the advice of experts and be sure to wash your hands, stay home if you’re sick, cover your cough, and practice social distancing.

MDH hotlines are available to assist Minnesotans, including a public line (651) 201-3920 and a line for questions specifically related to schools and/or childcare (651) 297-1304. Several online resources also are available to help individuals stay up to date:

MDH’s COVID-19 page: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/index.html

Mayo Clinic’s COVID-19 page: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/symptoms-causes/syc-20479963

CDC COVID-19 page: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

I can be reached by phone at 651-296-6746 or via email at rep.sondra.erickson@house.mn.

Please stay safe,

Sondra