Situation Report COVID-19 Updates | July 13, 2020
Coronavirus cases are shattering records across the U.S. More than 60,000 new cases were announced in the U.S. on Saturday. North Carolina, Oregon, Arkansas, Hawaii and Alaska all recorded single-day highs. More than 12.5 million people around the world have been infected with Covid-19; 3.2 million of them are Americans.

Just this weekend, the NHL decided the U.S. isn’t safe enough for the remaining games this year – they will be held, not in Las Vegas, but in Canada. That said, the MN Wild are training at TRIA Rink at Treasure Island Center getting prepared!

 
How is Minnesota doing? Not as bad. But, again, safety measures are absolutely still warranted.
  • Our previous one-day high was 795 positive cases on May 26. The waves have been up and down, but generally down with a rise in cases, mostly among young people. We saw 696 positive cases (on many more tests) again on July 6, a notable spike.
  • As of Sunday, the largest group of cases overall, by far, is the 20-40 year-olds. This group now represents almost 43% of all cases.
  • That said, hospital cases and ICU cases continue to go down.
  • One key ratio is the % positives across a rolling 7-day average. This ratio is elevated slightly, to 4.7%.
  • Governor Walz is considering joining 23 other states with statewide mask mandates. No confirmation yet.  
 
Don’t forget:
  • The application for We St. Paul/Midway fund is live. Please apply, and share with any businesses you know were impacted by the civil unrest: See Application here. To date, the We St. Paul/Midway: $160K received, another $400K committed so far. Please donate if you can!
 
#BusinessDoingGood
  • Wells Fargo to donate all $400M in processing fees from PPP to help minority-owned businesses Wells Fargo announced that it will donate approximately $400 million in processing fees from the Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP, to help small businesses impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Through a new Open for Business Fund, Wells Fargo will engage local nonprofit organizations who serve small businesses, particularly those owned by people of color, as they administer loans, provide technical support, and develop long-term community resiliency programs. 

#BacktoBusiness
  • Xcel Energy announced renewable power project at Ryan’s Ford Site redevelopment. The proposal is part of Xcel’s partnership with Ryan to provide 100% renewable energy to the site that eventually will include 3,800 housing units, 150 SF retail space, and 265K SF office space. Read more about it.

  • MN Wild has 2 big announcements today: 1) they (finally!) signed forward Kirill Kaprizov (if you remember, he scored the Gold Medal game-winning goal against Germany at the 2018 Winter Olympics…); and 2) named Dean Evason Head Coach.
 
Administration Updates, Commissioner Malcolm, Kris Ehresmann:
  • Monday, MDH Commissioner Malcolm, Infectious Disease Division Director Kris Ehresmann
  • Testing volume vs positives: last week, we had 12.8% increase in number of tests performed, and a 10.9% increase in total cases. That gap has narrowed since we started reporting that metric.
  • 7-day positivity rate: now at 4.7%. We want to stay under 15%. Indeed, a rate above 5% indicates we may be heading back into a period of more rapid spread of the disease.
  • Median age of positive tests now is 37.6 years.
  • Commissioner Malcolm spent significant time talking about restaurants and bars, and the reminder of the need to adhere to guidance (OSHA has received complaints about lack of compliance in some businesses).
  • Looking at studies re COVID-19: infectiousness may peak in pre-symptomatic period (two days prior to onset of symptoms)
  • Continue to reinforce the importance of social distancing and masking because you may be at the peak of your infectiousness when you don't have any symptoms.

  • Friday, MDH Commissioner Malcolm, Infectious Disease Division Director Kris Ehresmann
  • Testing volume vs positives: increase in total # of tests by 12.5% compared to 8.3% new cases over the same period.
  • 7-day testing positivity rate: now at 4.5%, an increase from 3.8% a week ago.
  • 8 new ICU on Thursday, the first increase in a number of days.
  • This week we passed the milestone of 700K COVID-19 tests.
  • Regarding the use of remdesivir: last week we have learned the donated program has ended and is now moving from "fully free" to "semi commercial model." Allocation and distribution managed by dept of Health and Human Services and MDH. Hospitals will be expected to purchase the drug. Fed govt still allocates to the states based on the burden of state-wide cases.
  • In general, facilities are fairly comfortable in terms of remdesivir volume, esp as number of cases has been trending down.
  • We are hearing from health systems that some people are seeking COVID testing every couple days. Serial testing is really not recommended outside of specific circumstances. Not a substitute for social distancing and masking.

  • Prolonged warm weather: risk of naeglaria florida amoeba - primary amoebic encephalitis. "the brain eating amoeba."
  • Found in fresh water and soil. Most commonly seen in southern states.
  • In last few years, have seen infections in the north after a prolonged period of very hot weather. Higher water temps and lower water levels.
  • Given the unseasonably warm weather… assume it is present. Keep head out of water, plug your nose when going under water, and avoid stirring up sediment.

  • New guidance: "essential caregiver" visitation/contact inside for designated "essential caregivers" for expanded access to help ensure residents' full range of needs is met.
  • Does NOT include all visitors who want to visit. In-place window and outdoor visits can still be maintained.
  • The "essential caregiver" is someone who has provided regular care and support to the resident. Can have more than 1.
  • Need to be signed in and screened. Closely adhere: frequent hand washing, sanitizer, all necessary PPE incl eye protection and face masks.


  • Thursday, DEED Call
  • Re reopening: closely monitoring other states and the spikes we are seeing. Not seeing them in MN now/yet, continue to monitor. No clarity yet re timeline for Phase 4.
  • Connecting regularly with retail/hospitality/venue groups re ongoing issues. Demand, capacity, opening timeline perspective.
  • Statewide masking mandate: work continues to determine if we need one.
  • Small Business Relief Grants (SBRG), $62.5M funded by Legislature. App window closed on 7/2. over 29K applications. In the process of conducting lottery within next week or so to award. Deed will work with our nonprofit partners to administer those grants.
  • Small Business Emergency Loans (SBEL): will release names of program awardees from end of March. Approx 1,020 loans and disbursed the $30M allocated to DEED.
  • Unemployment insurance cliff: on July 25, additional $600 payments from CARES Act will end. We're preparing for that.
 
 

  • New Long Term Care Guidelines for Visitors From KSTP, July 10: Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) officials addressed an array of topics during Friday's COVID-19 daily briefing, including an update on state and national coronavirus numbers, an end to the free remdesivir program and new long-term care facility visitor guidelines.


  • 3rd Quarter 2020 Market Outlook: What Has Been Driving the Recent Market Recovery? From Thrivent’s Chief Investment Strategist, July 2: Over the past three months, the financial markets have staged a stunning recovery despite the economic recession brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. While it might have seemed logical that the markets would struggle as unemployment sky-rocketed and much of the economy collapsed, markets frequently do not follow the expected scripts. The 2nd quarter results are an extreme example of markets going "off script."
 
Legislature:
  • Minnesota: Second Special Session of 2020 began at noon today. The Governor plans to extend our Peacetime Emergency through mid-August, and will have to call the Legislature back again then if he intends to extend it into September. His chances of doing so remain uncertain. Update as of 1pm: House already adjourned for the day, and will reconvene at 5pm Tuesday. The Senate remains in session. To keep in mind: by law, the House must originate both the bonding and the tax bills (potentially combined into one), a draft of which should be available Tuesday morning online.
 
Congress: 
  • Minnesota Delegation Requests Relief for State Unemployment Insurance Programs Both of Minnesota’s U.S. Senators and half of its House delegation joined for a letter to congressional leadership on state unemployment insurance programs last week. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith, and Representatives Angie Craig, Dean Phillips, Betty McCollum, and Ilhan Omar sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Schumer, House Speaker Pelosi, and House Minority Leader McCarthy requesting relief for state unemployment insurance programs in any upcoming coronavirus relief package. In the letter, the members of the Minnesota delegation highlighted the strain that the coronavirus pandemic has placed on state unemployment insurance programs and requested that the next relief package allow the Federal Government to cover a portion of the upfront costs paid by non-profit and government employers, a relief measure that the Senate has already approved. Read the full letter here.
 
 
COVID-19 update as of 7/13/2020
Confirmed cases in Minnesota: 42,772
% Positives, last 7 days (as of 7/13): 4.7% (this is increasing)
Confirmed cases in U.S.: over 3.3M
Confirmed cases globally: over 12.9M
Cases requiring hospitalization: 4,424 (representing 10.3% of total)
#s currently hospitalized: 247 (down from 251 on 7/9)
#s no longer needing to be isolated: 37,199
#s tested: 768,989
Total deaths in Minnesota: 1,504 (1,172/77.9% cases in long term care or assisted living facilities)
Total deaths in U.S.: over 135K
Total deaths globally: over 570K
Cases in Counties represented:
Hennepin County: 13,697 (791 deaths)
Ramsey County: 5,313 (230 deaths)
Dakota County: 2,753 (96 deaths)
Washington County: 1,306 (41 deaths)
 
   
Visit our e vents page for webinars and events and the Ramsey County Means Business page for information to help businesses navigate resources during this pandemic. If you need more personalized assistance, contact our Rapid Response Team to assist you in finding an answer.
 
Be safe and be well,

B

 
B Kyle
President/CEO
Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce