County board actions: Update on COVID-19 response and more

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county board actions


Contact: Carolyn Marinan, Communications, 612-348-5969

The board held a special meeting Thursday to discuss Hennepin County’s response to COVID-19 and approve emergency board actions.


Update on COVID-19 response

On Thursday, county leaders provided an update on COVID-19 and Hennepin County's efforts. The county has made several significant changes, including: 

Time off/accommodations for employees

  • COVID-19 pay when circumstances require an employee to be off work due to a presumptive diagnosis of or exposure to COVID-19
  • More flexibility/forgiveness of negative leave balances
  • Additional sick time/PTO for client-facing employees who cannot work from home

Changes to how services are delivered

  • Closed all public-facing services at libraries, human service centers, and licensing service centers through April 6
  • Authorized employees to work from home
  • Authorizing operational changes at facilities
  • Working with state to relax/eliminate requirements for face-to-face interactions
  • Increasing disinfecting in public areas

Health resources for employees

  • No testing fees/office visit co-pays related to COVID-19
  • Relaxed prescription refill restrictions
  • Online resources for COVID-19 medical advice 
  • Additional mental health resources

Emergency response

  • Opened an Emergency Operations Center to respond to the quickly evolving emergency
  • Prepared COVID-19 response plans to maintain continuity of operations and protect employees/residents
  • Coordinating with the Minnesota Department of Health and other partners

Mobilizing workforce to meet new needs

Hennepin County has set up private spaces for people experiencing homelessness/people living in congregate settings, to reduce their risk of exposure and to isolate those who are sick.

Hennepin County’s workforce is rising to the challenge to meet needs at these sites. Within two days of a callout being made to all county employees, more than 100 staff responded offering their help.

Continued exploration of new ways to deliver service

Leaders discussed ideas for additional changes, including:

  • Mailing library patron material holds 
  • Using drop boxes where residents can drop off human services documents
  • Enlisting technology when remote work is recommended
  • Deploying resources where help is needed

More information

View a video of the presentation.

Accepting COVID-19 funding

To ensure swift action and maximize grant and other aid funding opportunities, commissioners authorized County Administration to accept COVID-19 funding awarded to Hennepin County.

The unprecedented environment created by the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in streams of funding being made available sporadically with very short response times for application and acceptance.

Labor agreements

Employment agreement with Sheriff’s Deputies Association

The board approved an agreement with the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Deputies Association, setting terms and conditions of employment until December 2021. The agreement covers approximately 254 licensed employees. Key provisions of this agreement include modifications to wages, merit increases, market adjustments, and medical insurance. 


Meeting on March 26

The board established a closed labor meeting on Thursday, March 26, to consider strategy for labor negotiations.

Current and archival board meetings, agendas and minutes are available at

Look for more news on the Hennepin County website at

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