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Covid -19 Updates
																																																																																																								Minneapolis Mayor signs regulation requiring use of mask when inside 'places of public accommodation'
Beginning 5 p.m. on May 26, masks will be required for indoor public spaces in Minneapolis, including stores. 
Per the emergency regulation enacted by Mayor Jacob Frey, anyone over the age of 2 who can "medically tolerate" a face mask will be required to wear a mask in stores, hotels, government buildings, schools, recreational facilities, day care facilities, and service centers.
During a press conference Thursday afternoon, Mayor Jacob Frey emphasized the policy is backed by research showing cloth masks can slow the spread of the coronavirus. While the city will prioritize outreach and education, he said, refusal to wear a mask can result in a citation and up to $1,000 in fines.
Employers will be required to enforce the policy, which will apply to bars and restaurants when they re-open. To report refusal to wear a mask, or ask questions about the policy, residents can call 311.
The city said it has distributed masks to many organizations affected by the policy, including day care centers. During a city-wide mask drive Monday, people can drop off masks from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at fire stations.
“We are not criminalizing forgetfulness; we are not penalizing people for a lack of awareness,” Frey said. “We will not be entertaining extreme selfishness and flagrant disregard to the health and safety of our fellow Minneapolis residents.”
As of Wednesday, Minneapolis had 2,098 confirmed cases of COVID-19. More than half of these cases have been traced to community spread, in other words the source is unknown.
With many businesses and cities requiring people to wear masks when in public spaces, we wanted to let you know about an organization called “The Mask Movement” that links local mask makers/sewers, to people and community groups that need them. The link is very user friendly and we hope you and your members find it useful.
How This Works
Interacting with this portal is like using an "online store" except everything is free of charge and made possible by a donation-based honor system. The goal of this project is simply to make sure that everyone can get their hands on face masks as part of the broader community-level COVID-19 pandemic response.
If you are requesting masks, please know that the masks you receive were sewn with love & care by someone in your local community. This is a 100% volunteer effort. We are doing the best we can to stay organized, gather masks supplied, deliver masks requested, prep materials, provide kits to people sewing and keep this system up & running for as long as is needed.
When requesting or supplying masks via this portal, it works just like an online store. Select the style of mask made/needed, scale the quantity accordingly, click "add to cart" and then "checkout". Local mutual-aid organizers will be mobilized to respond to your request and will be in touch! You will not be asked or required to enter any financial information when you "checkout" while requesting or supplying masks via this site!
For Individuals Requesting Masks
This portal is a grassroots effort to connect individuals & families with home-made cloth face masks made by local community members. Our ability to distribute masks to those requesting is limited by the volume of masks being sewn in a local area and at this time we have WAY MORE requests than we have supply. We are doing our best to manage & fulfill every request - please be patient & understanding :)
Please note: Hand-sewn masks are NOT to be considered medical grade & capable of stopping the spread of viruses & bacteria alone. Do NOT consider yourself "protected" because you are wearing some cotton on your face - please follow all guidance regarding social distancing, etc.

 Make sure your fabric mask fits properly

																																																																																																																																																								       There are a lot of fabric face masks available for purchase, and many people are making their own. “There’s no guarantee these fabric masks work to prevent COVID-19 exposure and infection. But to increase the chances that your fabric mask can help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the CDC recommends you wear one that:
  •           includes multiple layers of fabric
  •           fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
  •           secures with ear loops or ties
  •           allows you to breath easily
         Wash your fabric mask after use
After wearing your cloth mask, be sure to clean it. You can do this by putting it in the washing machine. But make sure that your mask can be machine washed and dried without damage or change to its shape. If there is damage or the mask no longer fits snugly, it’s no longer serving its purpose and shouldn’t be worn again.
Some people shouldn’t use any sort of face mask
Because masks cover up your nose and mouth, they’re not right for everyone.
Avoid using fabric masks:
  •           on kids younger than 2
  •           you have trouble breathing
  •           on anyone who can’t remove the mask unless help to do so is available
         A fabric mask is only one part of your COVID-19 protection toolkit
A fabric mask alone may not keep you from getting COVID-19. But, if you do it along with conjunction with practicing social distancing, staying home whenever possible and regular handwashing, it can help protect others and reduce the spread of COVID-19. It will also set a good example for others when you’re out, reminding them to practice social distancing and do their part to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
An Update from us on COVID-19
Status of COVID-19 in Minnesota
Updated April 17, 2020
  • Total positive: 2,071
  • o Patients who no longer need to be isolated: 1,066
  • Total approximate number of completed tests: 43,053
  • Deaths: 111
  • Total cases requiring hospitalization: 518
  • o Hospitalized as of today: 223
  • o Hospitalized in ICU as of today: 106
Numbers are cumulative since Jan. 20, 2020. 
The number of lab-confirmed positive tests among Minnesota residents will be updated daily on Situation Update for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) with test results from the previous day. The page also includes numbers by county.
The total number of cases is likely an underestimate, as we know the virus is circulating in communities. It is important for everyone to follow advice on community mitigation and social distancing to help us flatten the case curve.
See Situation Update for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) for Minnesota case information, including case counts, a map of counties with confirmed cases, and more.
Governor has launched a public dashboard which includes race data of cases: Minnesota COVID-19 Public Dashboard.


The How and Why of Social Distancing
COVID-19 - also known as coronavirus - is impacting our community, and today we're discussing social distancing. Steps like social distancing are very important in preventing the spread of coronavirus.
What is Social Distancing
Social distancing, also called “physical distancing,” means keeping space between yourself and other people outside of your home. To practice social or physical distancing:
  • Stay at least 6 feet (2 meters) from other people
  • Do not gather in groups
  • Stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings
In addition to everyday steps to prevent COVID-19, keeping space between you and others is one of the best tools we have to avoid being exposed to this virus and slowing its spread locally and across the country and world. When COVID-19 is spreading in your area, everyone should limit close contact with individuals outside your household in indoor and outdoor spaces. Since people can spread the virus before they know they are sick, it is important to stay away from others when possible, even if you have no symptoms. Social distancing is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
Why practice social distancing?
COVID-19 spreads mainly among people who are in close contact (within about 6 feet) for a prolonged period. Spread happens when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks, and droplets from their mouth or nose are launched into the air and land in the mouths or noses of people nearby. The droplets can also be inhaled into the lungs. Recent studies indicate that people who are infected but do not have symptoms likely also play a role in the spread of COVID-19.
It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes. However, this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. COVID-19 can live for hours or days on a surface, depending on factors such as sun light and humidity. Social distancing helps limit contact with infected people and contaminated surfaces.
Although the risk of severe illness may be different for everyone, anyone can get and spread COVID-19. Everyone has a role to play in slowing the spread and protecting themselves, their family, and their community.
Tips for social distancing
  • Follow guidance from authorities.
  • You can still get outside - take walks, ride your bike, and walk your dog - but it's important to try to stay 6 feet from others when you do it.
  • If you need to shop for food or medicine at the grocery store or pharmacy, stay at least 6 feet away from others.


Stay at Home Order: Next Steps
Governor Walz signed Executive Order 20-40 marking the beginning of the next phase of work: To begin a thoughtful, planned approach to re-opening parts of our economy by allowing a limited and safe return to work for some employees in industrial, manufacturing, and office settings starting April 27.
To continue our progress against the COVID-19 virus, many Minnesotans must continue to stay home. But, where physical presence is critical and where it can be done safely, it is appropriate that we begin to gradually loosen those restrictions. To do so, our Administration worked with health officials and Minnesota business partners to develop an approach that balances public safety, science-based health recommendations, and economic needs.
This approach includes:
  • The Stay at Home order remains in effect through May 4
  • Schools remain closed through the end of the school year
  • Minnesotans continue to practice social distancing
  • All symptomatic people are tested and public health surveillance tools are expanded
  • Confirmed cases and those who have been in close contact with them are isolated
  • Those who can work remotely continue to do so
  • Businesses where physical presence is critical develop detailed plans to gradually reopen
COVID-19 has changed how we work, how we care for our loved ones, how we go to school and how we connect to our friends, families and communities. Until a vaccine is widely available – which may be 18 months or more away – we will need to continue additional precautions while working, recreating, shopping, or gathering in large groups.
Social distancing guidelines will need to stay in place, sound health practices will need to be observed, and agencies will find ways to operate safely both inside and outside of the workplace to serve Minnesotans.




















































































Only leave if you must go to work, the grocery store, pharmacy, or medical appointments that cannot be delayed (such as for infants or for people with serious health conditions). Choose one or two family members who are not at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 to do the needed errands. If you must leave the household follow these nine (9) tips:
  • Avoid crowds, including social gathers of any size.
  • Keep at least 6 feet away from other people.
  • Wash our hands often.
  • Don't touch frequently touched surfaces in public areas, such as elevator buttons and handrails.
  • Don't use public transportation, such as the train or bus, if possible. If you must use public transportation, maintian 6 feet distance from other passengers as much as possible. Avoid touching frequently touched surfaces, and wash your hands or use hand sanitizer as soon as possible after leaving public transportation.
  • Don't ride in a car with members of different households.
  • Wear a cloth face covering to help slow the spread ofCOVID-19.
  • Wash your hands immediately when you return home.
  • Maintain a physical distance between you and those at higher risk in your household. Avoid hugging, kissing, or sharing food or drinks.
Stay Home - Stay Safe - Stay Alive






  • Use mail-order for medications, if possible.
  • Consider a grocery delivery service.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others, including when you have to go out in public, for example to the grocery store.
  • Stay at least 6 feet between yourself and others, even when you wear a face covering.
  • Avoid large and small gatherings in private places and public spaces, such as a friend’s house, parks, restaurants, shops, or any other place. This advice applies to people of any age, including teens and younger adults.
  • Work from home when possible.
  • If possible, avoid using any kind of public transportation, ridesharing, or taxis.
  • If you are a student or parent, talk to your school about options for digital/distance learning.
Stay connected while staying away. It is very important to stay in touch with friends and family that don’t live in your home. Call, video chat, or stay connected using social media. Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations and having to socially distance yourself from someone you love can be difficult. 
Thank you to everyone for doing your part to fight COVID-19.

Minnesota Department of Health

Cultural and Faith Communities Update on COVID-19

View this as a webpage

May 15, 2020

The Cultural and Faith Communities COVID-19 Update is being sent to the following three MDH mailing lists to reduce duplication:

  • Cultural and Faith Communities COVID-19 Updates
  • MN Immigrant and Refugee Health Announcements
  • The Center for Health Equity

Today's COVID-19 updates include:

Status of COVID-19 in Minnesota

Updated May 15, 2020

  • Total positive: 14,240
  • Patients who no longer need to be isolated: 9,503
  • Total approximate number of completed tests: 134,669
  • Deaths: 683
    o Deaths among cases that resided in long-term care or assisted living facilities: 554
  • Total cases requiring hospitalization: 1,985
    o Hospitalized as of today: 498
    o Hospitalized in ICU as of today: 200

Numbers are cumulative since Jan. 20, 2020.

The number of lab-confirmed positive tests among Minnesota residents will be updated daily on Situation Update for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) with test results from the previous day. The page also includes a map of counties with confirmed cases, and more.

This total reflects only the results from laboratory testing. There are more cases in Minnesota, and the virus is circulating in communities. It is important for everyone to follow advice on community mitigation and social distancing to help us flatten the case curve.

The Governor has launched a public dashboard which includes race data of cases: Minnesota COVID-19 Public Dashboard.


New MDH Video on Social Distancing in English with ASL, Hmong, Somali, and Spanish

Image of Social Distancing video


MDH, in collaboration with tpt, has created videos on social distancing.  What does social distancing look like in our everyday lives? It means keeping 6 feet between yourself and others when you’re out for essential activities like going for a walk or getting food. Staying home and practicing social distancing is helping Minnesota slow the spread of COVID-19!  The videos are available in: 

The non-English language versions are also available on their respective language pages: MDH Hmong COVID-19 page, the MDH Somali COVID-19 page, and the MDH Spanish COVID-19 page

New MDH Video on Mental Health in English with ASL, Hmong, Somali, and Spanish

Image of Mental Health video


MDH, in collaboration with tpt, has created videos on mental health in a crisis available in:

The non-English language versions are also available on their respective language pages: MDH Hmong COVID-19 page, the MDH Somali COVID-19 page, and the MDH Spanish COVID-19 page

Updates from Governor Walz

Governor Walz announced the next phase of the COVID-19 response in Minnesota. Beginning May 18, non-critical businesses, like retail stores and main street businesses, can reopen if they have a social distancing plan and operate at 50% capacity. Additionally, the Walz-Flanagan Administration is assembling guidance on how to safely reopen bars, restaurants, barbershops, and salons beginning June 1. 

Also, starting May 18, Minnesotans are welcome to gather with friends and family in groups of 10 or less with safe social distancing practices in place. 

As we take cautious steps forward, it is more important than ever that we protect those most at risk, support workers, and all do our part to slow the spread of the virus. We continue to encourage Minnesotans to:

  • Wash your hands often
  • Get tested when sick
  • Maintain social distance
  • Wear a mask
  • Stay home when able

For more details and information, visit Stay Safe MN Coming Soon and read the news release: Governor Walz Announces Next Phase of COVID-19 Response in Minnesota.

mn dial image for Stay Safe

New and Updated MDH Guidance

Testing for COVID-19

Testing image

A reminder to all Minnesotans: If you have COVID-19 symptoms, you can and should get tested. Visit If You Are Sick to learn more about the symptoms and what you should do if you're sick, use the screening tool to determine if you should get tested, and find a testing location near you.

Other Updates

Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) Webinar on 5/21

In coordination with the United State Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry invites you to a webinar training on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).  The FFCRA requires certain employers to provide employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19.

This session will provide attendees with a firm understanding of the basics of the FFCRA, including which employers are subject to the provisions, which employees are entitled to the FFCRA leave, and the overall rights and responsibilities of employees and employers.  The webinar will include a Q & A session.

  • When: Thursday, May 21, from 10 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

If you would like to submit a question ahead of the webinar, please email Dave Skovholt at david.skovholt@state.mn.us.

COVID-19 and Health Equity: Response and Recovery Tele-Townhall

At this event, ASTHO, Big Cities Health Coalition, NACCHO, and NASOMH will discuss how federal, state, and local partners and national organizations can collectively drive an equity-focused recovery strategy. State, local and city leaders will focus on the structural barriers to the COVID-19 response and the impact on marginalized communities, community engagement, data, and recovery strategies to address testing and contact tracing.

Presenters include:

  • Moderator, Dr. Gail Christopher, Executive Director, National Collaborative for Health Equity
  • ASTHO member, Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Chief Medical Executive and Chief Deputy Director for Health for the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services
  • Big Cities Health Coalition and NACCHO member, Angelina Esparza, the Chief Program Officer at the Houston Health Department
  • National Association of State Offices of Minority Health (NASOMH) Board of Directors Vice President and NASOMH member, Ms. Antoniette Holt, the Office of Minority Health Director at the Indiana State Department of Health.

Date and Time: Tuesday, May 19th from 2:00- 3:30pm ET 

Register for COVID-19 and Health Equity: Response and Recovery Tele-Townhall event. 


Healthcare Provider Support Circle

U of M School of Social Work Collaborative Response is now rolling out Zoom Rooms for peer support. The groups will meet for about an hour on Mondays 8-9 a.m. and Wednesdays 8-9 p.m. These will be facilitated by social worker volunteers, and are open to anyone working in health care now and dealing with the pressures of the COVID pandemic. 

This is a recurring meeting.

Join peer support Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 910 5541 2479

The same access code will be consistent for all group meetings.

Questions can be directed to: SSWCR@umn.edu

Grants / Funding

Upcoming Funding Opportunities to be Released May 25, 2020


Requests for Services for Contracts with Diverse Media Vendors and Community-based Organization for COVID-19 Communications and Outreach

The Minnesota Department of Health plans to issue two Requests for Services on Monday, May 25.

  1. Diverse Media Vendors for COVID-19 Communications

This Request for Services will ask vendors to propose a plan for media services to help MDH in getting culturally relevant, linguistically appropriate, accurate, and timely messages related to COVID-19 to communities of color, American Indian communities and LGBTQ communities in Minnesota. Media services may include formats such as online and social media, radio, television and print. Vendors are encouraged to use methods that are adaptable to quickly changing information and explore alternative methods of communication that are effective while people maintain social distancing.

  • Funding: $750,000 available for multiple contracts.
  • Target Audience of Request for Services: Media vendors; priority will be given to media vendors who are owned/led/operated by people of color, American Indians, and/or LGBTQ individuals. 
  1. Community-based Organizations for COVID-19 Outreach and Engagement This Request for Services will ask vendors to propose a plan for culturally relevant, linguistically appropriate and timely community engagement activities to aid the state in learning about community needs related to COVID-19, connecting communities to existing resources and services, and developing or adapting resources and services as needed. Activities may include outreach and engagement related to testing, case investigation and contact tracing, and mental health and well-being, among other areas. The primary audience(s) for community engagement must include people of color, American Indians and/or LGBTQ Minnesotans.
  • Funding: $1,500,000 available for multiple contracts.
  • Target Audience of Request for Services: Community-based nonprofit organizations, other community-led organizations, and Tribes; priority will be given to entities that are led/operated/owned by people of color, American Indians, and/or LGBTQ individuals.

MDH will make final selections of contractors based on a competitive review of proposals, while also ensuring that the final cohort of selected contractors covers a range of racial, ethnic and cultural communities and geographic areas in Minnesota.

The proposal submission deadline for both funding opportunities will be June 3, 2020. MDH will make more information available on May 25, 2020 with the release of the full Requests for Services. Current contractors of MDH will be eligible to apply.

COVID-19 Collective Fund for Trans Communities

Borealis Philanthropy’s Fund for Trans Generations, Destination Tomorrow’s TRANScend Community Impact Fund, and Third Wave Fund have launched the COVID-19 Collective Fund for Trans Communities to get financial resources to trans-led organizations and transgender, gender nonconforming, and non-binary communities who are organizing in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Some examples of activities that may be supported by this collective’s grantmaking include, but are not limited to:

  • Mutual aid and care support networks
  • Healing and virtual wellness spaces
  • Online/virtual programming needs
  • Living stipends for members and/or staff
  • Survival needs i.e. food, rent support, shelter, utilities
  • Organizing and advocacy

Learn more about COVID-19 Collective Fund for Trans Communities and apply.



Discrimination Hotline graphic

Discrimination Helpline

This helpline reinforces the state’s efforts to protect the civil rights of Minnesotans. It allows those who experience or witness bias and discrimination to report incidents to the Minnesota Department of Human Rights.

The creation of the Discrimination Helpline comes at a time when there's continued reports from Asian American community members who are experiencing heightened fear and backlash due to COVID-19. One of the disconcerting aspects of the COVID-19 crisis is the continued rise of xenophobia and racism. 

Every Minnesotan can call the Discrimination Helpline at 1-833-454-0148 or complete and submit the Discrimination Reporting online form. The helpline is staffed Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Interpreters are available. 

Translation services are available and information about the helpline is available in 17 different languages

Social media graphics about the helpline are available in 17 different languages here: 

COVID-19 Public Hotline

Questions about COVID-19?

Interpreters are available

Health questions:
651-201-3920 or 1-800-657-3903
Weekdays: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Weekends: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Schools and child care questions:
651-297-1304 or 1-800-657-3504, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m on Weekdays and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Weekends.

If you've been forwarded this email and would like to receive these updates directly, sign up here: Subscribe to Cultural and Faith Communities COVID-19 Updates.