Senator Johnson, Senate approve additional coronavirus funding

On Monday night the Minnesota Senate passed additional emergency funding for hospitals, nursing homes, and other medical professionals on the front lines to combat the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

“Today, the Senate passed additional emergency funding for preparedness of the state, hospitals, and nursing homes for a potential spike of patients,” said Senator Mark Johnson (R-East Grand Forks).  “The legislature will continue to monitor the data and focus on the health and safety of Minnesotans. We can all reduce the risk of illness with common-sense precautions like hand washing, staying home when sick, and giving a little space to one another.”

Last week, the legislature unanimously approved $21 million for emergency funding to combat COVID-19. The emergency funds will allow the Minnesota Department of Health, in collaboration with state and federal officials, to support disease investigation, monitor potential cluster outbreaks, provide information to the public, coordinate statewide response activities, and conduct laboratory analysis.

Leaders of the Minnesota Legislature have also announced that beginning Tuesday, March 17, the House and Senate will alter their operations until April 14 in order to protect the public and limit the public spread of the illness.

“Our priority right now is promoting and protecting the health and well-being of Minnesotans,” said Senator Johnson. “Legislative leaders have decided to take the necessary precaution of altering the Minnesota legislative session effective Tuesday. Legislative work will continue at several levels, but we will use technology to have less public gathering while still keeping folks involved and in informed of our work.”

“Before we begin the modified schedule,” continued Senator Johnson, “we will pass emergency legislation to help the state respond effectively and efficiently to this public health issue. As the situation improves, we will return to a normal work schedule to complete the work that Minnesotans have tasked us to do.”

Residents who have concerns or questions can still direct them to Senator Johnson’s office at 651-296-5782 or  

As the COVID-19 virus unfolds in Minnesota, there are several resources that individuals can use to stay up to date on the latest information: