Situation Report COVID-19 Updates | June 4, 2020
I watched the powerful memorial service for George Floyd this afternoon, pausing to reflect on this past week, while talking with folks throughout the day on what we can do differently moving forward. My heartfelt sympathy is again extended to the family of George Floyd.
The COVID-19 pandemic created an emerging economic crisis unlike any we have faced in recent memory and the tragic death of George Floyd and the unrest that followed has devastated many of our small businesses. Many are now struggling as well to repair and rebuild. 
In our effort to help our Charitable Foundation, a registered 501(c)3, is partnering with the Saint Paul Downtown Alliance and Midway Chamber of Commerce, together now are collecting financial donations to support our community with direct financial support for small businesses and nonprofits to help them rebuild their storefronts, reopen their businesses and serve our neighborhoods.

As we work to allocate and distribute these funds, we will focus on helping the hardest-hit and most vulnerable businesses in our community, which disproportionately includes immigrant and POC-owned businesses
In terms of our tracking of the COVID-19 pandemic, civil unrest, and our response to both: 
SHOUT-OUTS, #BusinessDoingGood
  • Your Midway Y has been serving over 42,000 meals since COVID 19 started. Last week they opened a food shelf hub and are looking for essential need supplies, volunteers and cash donations Click under designations: St. Paul Midway YMCA Following you will find a link for chamber members to sign up to help at the food shelf.
Updates from the Governor
  • EO 20-72 issued Wed, Jun 3: activating the Minnesota National Guard and declaring a peacetime emergency to provide safety and protection to the people of Clay County and surrounding communities (credible threats have been received). 
  • EO 20-71 issued Wed, Jun 3: extending the temporary nighttime curfew in Minneapolis and Saint Paul.  
  • EO 20-70 issued Tues, Jun 2: authorizing use of state right-of-way for outdoor dining during the COVID-19 peacetime emergency. 
  •  EO 20-69 issued Mon, Jun 1: extending the temporary nighttime curfew in Minneapolis and Saint Paul.
Thursday’s DEED Call, 11:00am: State Commissioners and Business
  • DEED:
  • Moving quickly around displaced workers.
  • The timing of Phase 3 in the reopening process will be made available within the next few days.
  • Commerce:
  • Dealing with questions regarding insurance claims/process. In general, effects of civil unrest are covered by insurance. But not always. Details and links are below.
  • Also questions about who will bear the burden of testing in the long run. Conversations underway to determine this.
  • Revenue:
  • Regarding Treasury Coronavirus Relief Fund, from the federal government directly to states: Ramsey and Hennepin counties both got direct allocations, which are being used for business relief. The state is working with Legislature on guidelines/formula for distribution to the remaining 85 counties in the state.
  • DLI:
  • MN law prohibits employers from asking employees to sign away their rights to file claims due to COVID-19 impacts. Covered under workers comp statute.
  • OSHA compliance questions are largely being resolved with communication and education. Seeing a willingness on the part of employers to protect safety and health of employees and customers.
Wednesday’s Media Briefing, 3:00pm: AG Ellison
  • Curfew in Saint Paul and Minneapolis extended for Wednesday and Thursday, 10pm – 4am.
  • Wednesday afternoon, George Floyd's family visited the memorial site at 38th and Lake St. Governor Walz went to the site as well, to pay his respects: "I don't think we get another chance to fix this…"
  • Officer Chauvin now charged with 2d Degree Felony Murder.
  • Officers now in custody: J Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane, Tou Thao. They are charged with aiding and abetting second degree murder and aiding and abetting second degree manslaughter.
  • AG Ellison remains as the lead prosecutor. One goal: justice for George Floyd.
  • Ellison assured public pressure did not impact charges. Based on facts gathered and the law that applies.
Other Updates:
  • Wednesday Night Update from EOC: – Director Schute stated there were demonstrators at the Silent Service of Lament with 40 people, taking place near W 7th Street and View. In the Press Conference today, Commissioner Harrington shared that incidents of vehicles with no plates should be called to non-emergency lines 651-291-1111; anything with fires, bricks, immediate harm, etc. should of course go to 911.

  • The initial damage estimates have been received and they are tracking at:
  • $1.13 million for the City of Saint Paul:
  •  $7.1 million for Ramsey County;
  •  $5.6 million for Hennepin County
  •  $2.2 million for City of Minneapolis

These are initial estimates provided to the SOC.  Saint Paul’s number is an early estimate of the City’s costs to respond to the first week of protests, including overtime, equipment, and damage to city equipment/infrastructure. It does not include any estimates for damages to private property. We cannot speak to the numbers for the other jurisdictions.
  • Metro Transit resumes bus service, light-rail service resumes on Thursday
  • In Minneapolis, a quiet army of generosity gains strength From MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE, June 3: The business community, in particular, has felt that painful need. More than 46,000 Minnesotans responded, donating more than $3.8 million to date to the Lake Street Council to distribute to business owners whose livelihoods were damaged or destroyed.

  • Businesses damaged in Minneapolis, St. Paul after riots. From MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE: As of Wednesday, more than 360 businesses across the Twin Cities had been vandalized, looted or had doors and windows smashed. Some have been reduced to rubble, and at least 66 have been destroyed completely by fire. Others have reported extensive water damage or severe fire damage.

  • COVID-19 Resources in Ramsey County
  • Pay It Forward: connect for technical assistance support
  • Small Business Relief Fund: application period extended to June 12
  • Access to food:
  • Ramsey County: Many free meal and food assistance programs are available in Ramsey County. Use the County’s interactive map to find programs near you, including food shelves, community gardens, farmers markets, grocery stores and delivery services. 
  • City of Saint Paul: The City of Saint Paul is partnering with YouthpriseArts-Us, and the Sanneh Foundation to provide free meal service to Saint Paul families in need. Families with a minor child in the home will be eligible to pick up one meal bag per child per week. Each meal bag contains 7 dinner meals and 7 snacks including fresh fruits and vegetables, juice, a variety of sandwiches, crackers, cheese, milk, and more. Schedule subject to change, visit Saint Paul Parks and Recreation page for the most updated information.
  • COVID-19 Relief in Hennepin County - via press release from Hennepin County: “The board authorized an additional $10 million of federal CARES Act funding to support small businesses. The county has already authorized more than $15 million of funding to support small and self-employed businesses, bringing the total to $25 million of assistance. The Hennepin County Small Business Relief Program received 2,290 applications representing 36 cities. A total of 1,056 applications were selected via randomized lottery for funding consideration. This additional funding is expected to support the remaining eligible businesses. The deadline for self-employed entrepreneurs has been extended to Friday, June 5.”

  • Travelers now strongly encouraged to wear a facial covering at the MSP Airport From MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL BUSINESS JOURNAL: “Consistent with the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Minnesota Department of Health, I highly recommend that everyone wear face coverings while at any MAC airport,” wrote MAC Executive Director and CEO Brian Ryks in a letter in a letter to travelers.
  • INSURANCE: via news release from The Insurance Federation of Minnesota: “The events of the last week in Minnesota have been very unsettling for residents and business owners. Scenes of civil unrest, rioting and looting have many on edge. Rebuilding areas that have been damaged or destroyed will take time and money. But in many cases, insurance will help with financial recovery. Most standard insurance policies for business owners, homeowners and vehicle owners do provide coverage for losses related to civil unrest so policyholders should take action soon to start the claims process. If you or your business has been affected by the damage from the recent events, the following tips will help the claims process go more smoothly:
  • CAREFULLY make temporary accommodations to prevent further damage but do not risk injury to yourself or others in doing so.
  • Document with photos, videos and notes the extent of the damage and your losses.
  • Having access to business records is helpful in claims processing.
  • Contact your insurance agent or insurers’ claims hotline as soon as possible.
  • Keep receipts of whatever you might spend on cleanup, temporary repair or emergency expenses. In many cases, these costs are reimbursable.
  • Auto claims for damage due to civil unrest is available if the policyholder purchased the optional comprehensive coverage, which is widely available.

  • At the end of last week the Department of Commerce sent out insurance tips for business or residential property owners that may have sustained damage or loss from the destructive events from last week. Here are the links:
  • English: Business | Residential
  • Legislature - Minnesota Legislature likely to have in Special Session on June 12

COVID-19 update as of 6/4 /2020
Confirmed cases in Minnesota: 26,273
Confirmed cases in U.S. (as of 6/4): over 1.86M
Confirmed cases globally (as of 6/4): almost 6.6M
Cases requiring hospitalization: 3,253 (representing 12.4% of total)
#s currently hospitalized: 512 (down from 549 on 6/1)
#s no longer needing to be isolated: 21,490
#s tested: 275,622
Total deaths in Minnesota : 1,115 (896/80.3% cases in long term care or assisted living facilities)
Total deaths in U.S. (updated 6/4): almost 108K
Total deaths globally (updated 6/4): over 388K
Cases in Counties represented:
Hennepin County: 8,867 (641 deaths)
Ramsey County: 3,252 (140 deaths)
Dakota County: 1,414 (64 deaths)
Washington County: 680 (15 deaths)
See available SBA COVID-19 training here .

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 Kyle
Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce