Briefs

At least 100 reporters call into daily COVID-19 phone briefing with Walz, health department

BY: - March 30, 2020

On a good day, a reporter’s chance of being called on during the daily phone-briefing with Gov. Tim Walz and the Minnesota Department of Health about COVID-19 is about 1-in-100.  On a busier day, it might be 1 in 200.  A governor’s spokesman acknowledged the shortfalls of the daily call, responding to journalists’ increasing frustration […]

Minneapolis Public Housing Authority

Abdi Warsame wins city council approval to lead housing authority, starts March 31

BY: - March 27, 2020

Minneapolis City Council Member Abdi Warsame will take the helm of the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority on March 31, making him the first Somali-American to lead a government agency in Minnesota. Warsame’s appointment was confirmed by the Minneapolis City Council on Friday online during a remote meeting. “I want to offer my congratulations to Council […]

Minnesota House votes 99-4 to advance COVID-19 emergency response package to Senate

BY: - March 26, 2020

The Minnesota House on Thursday approved a $330 million COVID-19 emergency response package, voting 99-4 and advancing the measure to the Senate.  Crafted over the past 10 days of intense negotiations with legislative leaders from both parties, the package creates a $200 million COVID-19 response fund available to Gov. Tim Walz to spend with legislative […]

Nearly 20,000 Minnesotans were homeless on any night in 2018, report says

BY: - March 26, 2020

Nearly 20,000 Minnesotans were homeless on any given night in 2018, according to a new study released Wednesday. The estimate comes from Wilder Research’s most recent one-day study of homelessness in Minnesota, conducted in 2018. The nonprofit research group counted 10,233 people experiencing homelessness on a single night in October that year, up 10% from […]

unacast social distancing scoreboard

Minnesota gets an “A” in social distancing

BY: - March 25, 2020

Minnesotans are above-average in social distancing, according to smart phone surveillance data you probably didn’t know you were giving away. The company Unacast, which analyzes phone GPS data, launched a “Social Distancing Scoreboard” this week that shows how much people have reduced their typical travel as state and local governments have taken drastic action to […]

Nearly 150,000 jobless claims filed since March 16, most from women and food service workers

BY: - March 24, 2020

Minnesota received nearly 150,000 jobless claims during a week-long period ending Monday, with a large bulk coming from women and food service workers.  Steve Grove, the commissioner of the Department of Employment and Economic Development, said the agency received 149,443 unemployment insurance claims. A large majority came from first-time applicants whose jobs have been cut […]

Gov. Walz says he isn’t ready to issue a shelter-in-place order yet

BY: - March 23, 2020

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz is not yet prepared to join his counterparts in states like Ohio, Michigan and California who have issued shelter-in-place orders, but he said Monday such an order here would likely have to span at least several weeks to be effective. Walz, who has already taken steps like closing dine-in services at […]

Sen. Klobuchar’s husband hospitalized; Walz exposed; Flanagan’s brother dies from COVID-19

BY: - March 23, 2020

The coronavirus has reached the highest levels of the Minnesota government, afflicting the families of Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan.  Klobuchar announced that her husband, John, received a positive test result for COVID-19 Monday and has been hospitalized in Virginia.  In a statement posted on Medium, she shared that […]

apartment building

Minn. landlord group says members should halt evictions through May

BY: - March 23, 2020

A trade group representing nearly 2,000 landlords in Minnesota is asking its members to halt evictions, late fees and rent increases through May to help ease the economic fallout from the coronavirus and slow its spread. The guidance comes as Gov. Tim Walz considers ordering Minnesotans to shelter in place, which could come with an […]

hennepin county government center

Hennepin County moves 130 homeless people into hotels for COVID-19 protection

BY: - March 21, 2020

One hundred thirty people experiencing homelessness in Hennepin County have voluntarily moved into separate living quarters in hotels just four days after the county board unanimously approved spending $3 million on isolation and quarantine spaces. So far, the county has contracts with two area hotels and is working on securing more spaces as the need […]

Minnesota sees first death from COVID-19

BY: - March 21, 2020

A Ramsey County resident in their 80s is the first known person with COVID-19 to have died in Minnesota, the Department of Health reported Saturday. The person died on March 19 and had contact with a family member who had previously tested positive and had a history of international travel. “Gwen and I extend our deepest […]

Walz considering allowing restaurants, bars sell alcohol with takeout food orders

BY: - March 20, 2020

Gov. Tim Walz on Friday provided a glimmer of hope to restaurant owners struggling with the closure of dine-in options, saying he’s considering allowing the sale of alcohol for takeout orders.  “There’s a very strong online presence to ask me that,” he said. “We’re looking at trying. Every suggestion is being brought up and I […]