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APPLE VALLEY CHAMBER NOTE: The Governor had a press conference yesterday (Monday) but did not issue a new executive order. We have had people ask questions of clarity about the Governor’s EO from last Friday. We decided to put these notes directly out to you as they clarify in exactly what they are referring to concerning restaurants, banquets, small businesses, additional grants etc. Be sure to look at the interesting Q & A at the end.

2020 11 13 Call, DEED
Thursday, November 12, 2020
12:00 PM
Steve Grove, Commissioner of DEED
Dan Huff, Asst Commissioner of MDH
Nicole Blissenbach, Asst Commissioner DLI
Elizabeth Frosch, Chief of Staff at DEED
Laura Olivane COVID Program Lead at MDH
Jen Gates, Comms Director at DEED
Purpose: EO 20-96, Discussion and Q&A
Dan Huff
  • We are in the midst of a significant statewide COVID-19 surge.
  • New cases are increasingly more quickly than ever.
  • Today are announcing 7,225 new cases. Only 2 weeks ago, 2000 cases was hard to imagine.
  • In perspective: our first case in MN was 3/6. took us 208 days to get to 100K cases. It took 42 days to get to where we are today, over 200K cases. At this rate, 6000 tests/day on average, we will hit 300K cases by Thanksgiving.
  • We are in exponential growth at this point in MN.
  • This is a statewide outbreak. Metro is growing at slower rate than many regions. West central, central, northwest, southwest all have hit exponential growth and actually having higher cases per capita than does the metro.
  • 56 deaths announced on Wed, largest death tally in one day yet.
  • We’re concerned: hospital capacity is at risk.
  • I was on a call Tues night with infectious disease doctors across the state. I can’t tell you how anxious they are; have never seen this in their career.
  • It’s not just about COVID; because capacity is impacting other hospital bed needs as well.
  • Non-ICU hospital beds in the metro are above 95% capacity, and ICU beds are above 90%.
  • Health care workers are getting sick.
  • Capacity in other regions has fluctuated, but is following the metro.
  • How do we respond?
  • We follow the best advice of the public health leaders.
  • We have to balance economic/social/mental wellbeing. Is a very difficult balance.
  • At this point, controlling the spread is overwhelming priorities of the economy and our own well being.
    • How is COVID-19 spreading?
    • We are seeing spread in every part of daily life and in all types of settings.
    • But our growing understanding of the ways this virus spreads allows us to be more surgical in our response.
    • This outbreak is not caused by one or two big events. Instead, thousands of “mini-spreader events.”
    • The data tells us about the who, where, and when that plays a significant role in driving the spread.
    • The disease will spread as long as people are interacting with one another.
    • Who?
    • Younger adults have disproportionate share. Often asymptomatic or low symptoms so they don’t know they are sick and they spread it.
    • They also are more social.
    • How do we tailor mitigation measures to help this cohort be safer? Because it spreads to everyone else.
    • Where and when?
    • Social settings are driving much of the spread. Private social gathering, weddings/funerals…late night outings.
    • Social settings are source of 71% of outbreaks now.

 

Commissioner Grove
·        Supporting small business
  • Gov announced Tuesday: putting additional $10M from CRF $ we received as a state into Small Business Relief program.
  • If you remember, originally state committed $60M to provide $10K grants…..
  • This additional $10M will help 1000 more businesses.
  • Will go back to the lottery system to determine who got the grant, add more from the wait list to the recipient list.
  • Again, will go through network of NP lenders to make distribution.
  • Amongst those who could receive we hope are companies who were challenged by Secretary of State filing requirements.
  • More on this to come, to confirm the $10M.
  • We recognize, clearly, how challenging this time is for our economy. We lost 380K jobs, have gained about 1/2 back, growth rate is positive. Seeing upward trajectory. But we still have work to do.
  • But if we don’t do anything now to stem the tide of this virus, our economy will get worse.
  • We’ve paid $8.5B in UI payments so far. 10x more than we ever have in a single year in the history of our state.
  • We know now the safety nets that were here earlier no longer exist: additional $600/week, additional lost wages assistance program (Pandemic Unemployment Assistance), stimulus checks, federal PPP loans….
  • Every step of this has to be taken into consideration in terms of the effect on the economy. Again if this gets chaotic, the economy will take a much more grim turn. The goal here is to make the most targeted moves to mitigate risks while allowing for economic growth.
  • End with a note of gratitude: chambers, ED leaders, mayors, business owners, restauranteurs, hospitality industry… all of you have helped us as state govt understand as well as possible where the challenges are , how we can most effectively target these interventions, and use data to make the smartest decisions possible to write the most thoughtful playbook we can to turn this thing around.
  • This is a code red situation for Minnesota. Hard to over-emphasize that.
  • We know business owners have done so much to keep employees, customers safe, and reimagine their workplaces. And that’s come at a huge cost. Consumer confidence is down, PPE costs, reconfiguring operations costs, it’s hard and it’s not free. And I want to recognize that.
Questions
  1. Outdoor events, like snowmobiling and hockey. Grove: no specific regulation entered into re sports. Oliven: for events that are outdoors and held generally, rules haven’t changed. Only events that would contract are those that are celebrations, private parties, etc.
  2. Do servers need to clear plates by 10pm or can they finish? Oliven: all customers/patrons need to have exited the establishment by 10pm. So final orders/checks paid before that. Take-out after 10pm is still allowed.
  3. Clarity about “celebrations/receptions.” what about conferences, workshops, business recognition events, outdoor community events restricted? Oliven: private parties, celebrations, receptions hosted by a venue involving food/beverage consumption and are closed to the general public are now subject to the EO. Public events don’t apply.
  4. Does restaurant need to be closed, and servers gone, by 10pm? Oliven: restriction only applies to patrons. Workers do not have to be gone by 10pm.
  5. How does this affect city council meetings typically over 10 people? Oliven: I do not think the rules have changed in this case.
  6. Do limits on indoor gatherings apply to lodging? i.e. a group rent a large house or a set of linked hotel rooms to create a large “suite”? Blissenbach: social gathering limits would apply. Does the hotel/lodge need to be keeping track? Not a requirement on that. But the limits would apply in this case.
  7. Can you clarify limits for meetings and conferences? Oliven: meeting sizes have not changed and subject to “seated meeting” guidance: up to 250 people, up to 25% capacity, always assuring social distancing.
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