Republican Lawmakers Blast Minnesota’s Coronavirus Omnibus Bill: ‘Zero Transparency’

The Minnesota Legislature passed a $330 million omnibus bill this week to address the coronavirus pandemic, but some Republican lawmakers were frustrated with the unprecedented lack of transparency in the process.

Read More

Omar and Bernie Ask Bezos for Answers About Amazon’s Efforts to Slow COVID-19 Spread

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN-05) sent a letter Friday to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos asking for “detailed information” about his plans to protect warehouse workers from the coronavirus.

Read More

Shelter in Place Order Now in Effect in Minnesota: Here’s What You Need to Know

Gov. Tim Walz has issued a statewide shelter-in-place order for Minnesota to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The order took effect Friday at midnight and will remain in effect until 5:00 p.m. on April 10. As opposed to a complete lockdown, a shelter-in-place order still allows for many everyday activities and permits numerous industries to continuing working.

Read More

Trump Admin Plans to Identify COVID-19 Hotspots So Low-Risk Areas Can Reopen

President Donald Trump said Thursday that his administration is working on a county-level approach to the coronavirus that will enable the government to identify hotspots across the nation.

Doing so will allow social distancing measures to be relaxed or tightened based on the number of confirmed cases in each county, Trump said in a letter sent Thursday to the nation’s governors.

Read More

Commentary: Coronavirus Exposes Just How Antiquated and Unworkable the Michigan Education System Really Is

The coronavirus has thrown our entire society in disarray, and no less poignant an example exists than our K-12 public schools. The closure of schools across the country has stopped the normal learning process dead in its tracks.  In a valiant attempt to continue, many districts have sought to leverage long distance learning. Unfortunately, weaknesses in the law, technological infrastructure, and teacher preparation, as well as inequities among students, are barriers to success. For example, the Michigan Department of Education has announced that under the law, virtual learning will not count for funding purposes as “seat time.”

Read More

Michigan’s Gov. Whitmer Asks Trump for Major Disaster Declaration

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has submitted a request to President Trump to ask him for a major disaster declaration, which would allow the state to aid its residents in a variety of ways.

If granted in full, the declaration would allow the state to provide meals for families in need, rental assistance and temporary housing, as well as funding for field hospitals and mental health support.

Read More

Star Tribune Was Refusing to Run Ad Warning of Economic Consequences of Walz’s Coronavirus Response

The Star Tribune initially refused to run an advertisement in its print edition that was critical of Gov. Tim Walz’s “severe reactions” to the coronavirus pandemic.

Read More

Minnesota Had 116,000 New Unemployment Claims Last Week

Minnesota has seen 182,000 workers apply for unemployment insurance since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) Commissioner Steve Grove said Thursday.

Read More

Michigan Unemployment Claims Reach Record High

The economic fallout caused by the coronavirus pandemic includes massive unemployment caused by government-mandated shutdowns of businesses throughout Michigan.

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) reported 129,298 Michigan employees filed unemployment claims last week. Government figures indicate that number has increased from nearly 5,338 people filing unemployment claims reported March 14, a difference of more than 123,960.

Read More

MyPillow Now Manufacturing Face Masks to Help With COVID-19 Response

MyPillow announced Tuesday that it is now manufacturing face masks for hospitals across the country to help alleviate the national shortage of N95 respirator masks.

Read More

Whitmer Extends Canvassing Deadline for Michigan Primary

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer extended the deadline to tally the votes from the Michigan primary by executive order on Wednesday due to the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in the state.

The canvassing deadline for the March 10 primary was originally March 24, according to a guideline from the state of Michigan. Whitmer’s order has pushed it back to April 24.

“I am grateful to Governor Whitmer for ensuring our democracy will remain robust during this public health crisis,” said Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson in a statement. “Providing more time to canvass the recent election will provide certainty for Michiganders that our elections are accurate and worth everyone participating in.”

Read More

Gov. Walz Issues Shelter in Place Order for Minnesota

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced during his Wednesday press briefing that he is issuing a statewide shelter-in-place order to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

The stay-at-home order, as the governor is calling it, will go into effect at midnight Friday and will remain in effect until 5:00 p.m. on April 10.

“What our objective is now is to move the infection rate or slow it down and buy time,” Walz said during the press conference. The governor noted that the order won’t necessarily reduce the infection rate, but will postpone the peak of the outbreak while the state prepares.

Read More

Doctor in Minnesota Senate Warns That Reaction to Coronavirus Could Be More Dangerous Than Virus Itself

A doctor in the Minnesota Senate warned leaders Monday that the reaction to the coronavirus pandemic could be more harmful than the virus itself.

Sen. Scott Jensen (R-Chaska), a professor at the University of Minnesota Medical School and founder of Catalyst Medical Clinic, said that the disruption to everyday routines could have devastating consequences for people with underlying medical conditions.

“Scaring people to death isn’t helping us. We are going to in short order, if not already now, have supply chains get interrupted and some of these are critical supply chains. We need to be careful,” Jensen said in a video posted to Facebook.

Read More

CVS Will Hire 50,000 Workers, Company Announces

CVS Health plans on hiring 50,000 employees to fill full-time, part-time and temporary positions as the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread across the United States, the company announced on Monday.

Available roles include store associates, home delivery drivers, distribution center employees and customer service employees. CVS said many roles will be filled by employees from current CVS Health clients that have had to furlough workers, such as Hilton and Marriott.

Read More

Whitmer Orders ‘Stay Home, Stay Safe’ Lockdown for Three Weeks

Michigan residents have been ordered to stay inside their homes as part of a “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced on Monday.

The order, effective at 12:01 a.m. on March 24, prohibits people leaving their home unless they are engaged in an outdoor activity, performing necessary tasks like going to a hospital or grocery store, or are part of an industry deemed essential. The lockdown will be in place for three weeks.

Read More

Gov. Walz Self-Quarantines After Contact with COVID-19 Patient

  Gov. Tim Walz announced Monday morning that he is in self-quarantine at the Governor’s Residence after contacting someone with the coronavirus. “After learning I had contact with someone who has COVID-19, I plan to lead by example and work from home. I currently have no symptoms and will continue…

Read More

Klobuchar’s Husband Hospitalized After Testing Positive for COVID-19

Sen. Amy Klobuchar said Monday that her husband (pictured right) has been hospitalized after testing positive for the coronavirus.

Klobuchar said her family received the test results early Monday morning and said her husband, John, is currently “cut off from all visitors.”

He started to feel sick when the senator was in Minnesota and he was in Washington, D.C. for his teaching job. According to Klobuchar, her husband was “checked into a hospital in Virginia” after he “started coughing up blood.”

Read More

Pakistani Doctor Arrested in MN, Charged with Attempting to Provide Material Support to ISIS

  The US Attorney for the District of Minnesota today announced charges against a former Rochester MN doctor for allegedly providing material support to ISIS. Muhammad Masood, 28, was taken into custody on Thursday atthe Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, according to the Dept. of Justice press release. According to the…

Read More

Connecticut Relents, Orders All Labs to Report Negative Coronavirus Test Results, Leaving Ohio One of Two States to Fail to Comply With Federal Law

The State of Connecticut has gotten on board with the CDC to report negative test results to help the agency better track the spread of the coronavirus, leaving Ohio and Maryland as the only holdouts in complying with federal law.

Read More

Senate Leaders Signal Disagreement with Walz’s ‘Unilateral and Unchecked’ Coronavirus Actions

Gov. Tim Walz has issued 12 executive orders in response to the coronavirus pandemic, but Senate Republicans think some of his actions aren’t within his constitutional authority.

Read More

Shelter in Place Order Possible for Minnesota

Gov. Tim Walz said Friday morning that a statewide “shelter in place” order is possible after Minnesota saw its number of confirmed COVID-19 cases soar past 100.

“Well, I certainly think it is a possibility,” the governor said during an interview with WCCO Radio. “We have to have every tool in the toolbox.”

Read More

Is the Ohio Department of Health Refusing to Release Coronavirus Test Data to Conceal Lower Than National Average Percentage of Positive Tests?

  During the coronavirus pandemic, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Director Amy Acton have taken a number of actions, some controversial, designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Just in the last ten days, DeWine has closed bars and schools, postponed primaries and banned mass gatherings.…

Read More

Whitmer Suspends Parts of Open Meeting Act, Faces Pushback

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order temporarily suspending parts of the Open Meetings Act (OMA), so public groups can meet electronically through April 15.

“We are taking every measure we can to mitigate the spread of coronavirus and protect Michigan families, but recognize that public bodies still have an obligation to conduct business as usual,” Whitmer said in a news release.

Read More

ACLU Asks Minnesota Government to ‘Limit Arrests to Most Serious Offenses’ During COVID-19 Pandemic

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Minnesota has asked the state government to “aggressively” limit arrests to “the most serious offenses” during the coronavirus pandemic.

Read More

Minnesota Limits Testing Because of ‘National Shortage’ of COVID-19 Testing Materials

The Minnesota Department of Health said Tuesday that it is tightening its “testing criteria” for the coronavirus because of a “national shortage of COVID-19 laboratory testing materials.”

Read More

Minnesota Lawmakers Call Walz’s Order Closing Private Businesses ‘An Overreach That Will Be Devastating’

Republican lawmakers said they appreciate Gov. Tim Walz’s leadership in responding to the coronavirus outbreak, but think his executive order closing most private businesses is “an overreach that will be devastating.”

Read More

Whitmer Orders All Bars, Restaurants, Theaters and More to Close

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued a sweeping executive order Monday that orders the closure of several public places in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Under the executive order, the following places of public accommodation were required to close: restaurants, cafes, coffee houses, bars, taverns, brewpubs, distilleries, clubs, movie theaters, indoor and outdoor performance venues, gymnasiums, fitness centers, recreation centers, indoor sports facilities, indoor exercise facilities, exercise studios, spas, and casinos.

Read More

Michigan Coronavirus Cases Up to 53

Michigan currently has 53 confirmed cases of the coronavirus after 20 more cases were recently confirmed, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced on Sunday.

The virus, identified by medical professionals as COVID-19, has been confirmed in seven different counties: Washtenaw County, Oakland County, Macomb County, Kent County, Wayne County, Ottawa County and St. Clair County. It has also been confirmed in the city of Detroit.

Read More

Whitmer Expands Unemployment Benefits for Those Impacted by the Coronavirus

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has issued an executive order extending unemployment benefits for Michigan workers impacted by the spread of the coronavirus in the state.

Under the expanded eligibility, unemployment benefits are available to workers who are sick, quarantined or immunocompromised and who do not have access to paid time off; workers who have “unanticipated family care responsibility” such as ill family or additional childcare responsibility due to school closures; and first responders who are ill or quarantined because of the coronavirus. The extended eligibility is in effect until April 14.

Read More