Updates from the Governor

Governor Tim Walz announced that teachers, school staff, and child care providers across the state have received access to their free Covid-19 saliva test, totaling more than 250,000 tests. The saliva tests are part of the Safe Learning Plan for the 2020-21 school year.

Teachers and staff are not required to take the tests before coming back to the classroom or to continue working in a child care setting. State officials urge them to get tested when they need it, such as when they’re feeling symptomatic or when they believe they may have been exposed to someone who is COVID positive. The tests must be used by the end of 2020, though the state is exploring options to extend access for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year.

White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx urged Minnesotans to double down in their efforts to combat the spread of Covid-19. She particularly urged Minnesotans in rural areas to take additional precautions to prevent the spread of the virus.

Walz also announced that Minnesota has received approval from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program.

The program provides a temporary additional $300 per week benefit to Minnesotans receiving unemployment benefits. To be eligible, an applicant must have a weekly unemployment benefit amount of at least $100 and must be unemployed due to Covid-19.

Those currently receiving unemployment benefits do not need to reapply or do anything other than complete their weekly benefits request to receive the additional $300 a week. The Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) Unemployment Insurance will review all payment requests made for the week of July 26 going forward and automatically pay applicants who are eligible.

DEED anticipates the program will last between five to eight weeks.

Applicants can visit https://www.uimn.org/lwa for more information.


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