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—Restaurant seating from 4, now 10
—No need from same family now
—Security for financial institutions from home —PPP Loan Forgiveness —OSHA Compliance, # of inquiries, # of inspections, # of citations
—Revenue: Property Tax Refunds
—City fines by state up to $20K, How OSHA responds to city outbreaks —Testing by Met Council, MN not looking great, Iowa better, National Guard testing push —New testing capacity and can business do saliva test without nurse
Thursday, October 8, 2020
11:03 AM
Robert Doty, Asst Commissioner of Revenue
Matt Zappia, Deputy Commissioner of Commerce
Mark, Staff, DEED
Steve Grove, DEED
Kevin McKinnon, Deputy Commissioner for ED, DEED
Darielle Dannon, Legislative Director, DEED
Nicole Blissenbach, DLI
Special Guest: Meredith Salsbery Vadis re testing
DEED, Steve Grove
  • In past hour: guidance for restaurants. Working with restaurant/bar owners across the state… Gov has expanded seating requirement from a max of 4 up to 10 in a party. Table still needs to be 6′ apart from others, but hope that move from 4-10 will make a difference, especially as holidays approach.
  • Puts us in sync with broader guidance of indoor guidance of 10 or fewer. Effective immediately.
  • Seating at bars still at 4 max. NO standing capacity.
  • Eliminated the need for people at a table to be “from the same family.”
Max Zappia, Commerce
  • Consumer Response Ctr: only 1 call this week.
  • A while back we had questions from financial institutions re how to balance cyber security and need to work fro home…
  • Banking side: monitoring PPP loan forgiveness program. Hoping to see those loans forgiven asap. Working with questions institutions have re extending them without extensive documentation on the part of the borrower.
Nicole Blissenbach, DLI
  • OSHA through EOM September:
  • OSHA Compliance, Mar-Sep, received 12,817 total calls/emails. Significant uptick from last year, same period.
  • Of those inquiries, 1,171 turned into non-formal complaints.
  • 222 turned into formal complaints.
  • Of those 222, 105 were COVID-related.
  • OSHA Compliance conducted 686 on-site inspections from Mar 1 – Sep 30. some are response, some are routine scheduled/serious injuries and fatalities visits.
  • Of those, total on-site inspections re COVID-related are 135.
  • Total citations related to COVID are 71.
Robert Doty, Revenue
  • In season of property tax refunds. As of this week, 817K returns received. Processed 790K of them, approx 96%. Still going strong. 71% of individuals are doing their returns electronically.
  • Several federally declared disasters across the country… MN taxpayers also may be affected. Go to our website, you can see what we have listed for taxpayer relief relative to any of those particular declared disasters.
Meredith Vadis re testing
  • Meredith works at Met Council, has been leading on state’s COVID testing efforts since March.
  • Working alongside health systems, pharmacies, employers..
  • Daily testing # include all of the above partners.
  • Data on COVID tracking project: neighboring states are trending up, IA flattening somewhat… MN #s not looking great right now.
  • Cmty transmission, cases per 100K, new hospital admissions, all are in high risk category at this point.
  • What we all can do: flatten that out by ensuring isolation, testing availability
  • State testing goal is 35-40K/day. Not there yet, but do have some days over 30K.
  • Recommendation is 33K tests/day in order to suppress the disease. You will find those positives and, the fast we can find and isolate, the faster we can get it under control.
  • National Guard is helping with statewide push for testing.
  • New innovation: state is partnering with Vault Health and Infinity Biologics to construct saliva lab.
  • Capacity to process up to 30K samples/day, doubles state’s testing capacity now. And saliva samples, high end process.
  • A lot of data, sensitivity on the test is excellent. Will open in a few weeks in Oakdale.
  • 250 jobs will be needed there.
  • + 10 semi-permanent testing sites. 1st I Duluth is testing 400-1000 people/day, 5 days/week. Finding more positives than we’d anticipated…
  • Ask for insurance but no one receives a bill; state will backstop costs at those sites.
  • Can conduct tests via mailed-in samples.
  • If employer needs testing for workforce, can accommodate that through saliva tests and without nurse to do swabbing.
  • Will provide wide availability to business, K-12 education, etc.
  • If a business wants to use this, what are first steps? Simple survey through Survey Monkey, will distribute. Fill in with your interest in testing. May want a box of tests on site just in case… or what you’re thinking…. Vault will reach out to you directly to set up a contract. State has funded lab, ensured capacity will exist, you contract directly. Delivered to the company, to employees’ homes, have Vault help you with an event on site… state is underwriting much of this work. Standard $150/test. Due to underwriting, will cost $85-121/test.
1.     If a city-run bldg like City Hall, DMV, Library, has COVID case/outbreak. Will that city be fined $20K from the state? Dannon: from DLI perspective, MN OSHA Compliance… the outbreak itself doesn’t trigger enforcement action on its own. If there is complaint into OSHA or, as response to outbreak MDH goes out and observes protocol violations, then it could come in to OSHA as referral/complaint. When MDH goes out in response to outbreaks, they do try to work through what a company/city/entity is supposed to do. typically, only when they’re met with unwillingness to correct is there a referral. OSHA does not institute one fine; there are standards that correspond to different fines/penalties. Depending on citation, that will dictate penalties.
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