County board actions

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county board actions


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

Testing and support for long-term care facilities

The board established a new program that will provide onsite COVID-19 testing, technical assistance and guidance to long-term facilities in Hennepin County.

A disproportionate number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths have occurred in Hennepin County, primarily driven by cases arising in long-term care facilities.

While Hennepin County only makes up 23% of the state’s population, 49% of hospitalizations and over 66% deaths related to COVID-19 have occurred here. Long-term care facilities account for 36% of Hennepin County’s COVID-19 hospitalizations and 85% of deaths.

Hennepin County and Hennepin Healthcare will partner to provide increased onsite testing for residents and staff. The program will provide support and direction in the following areas: infection prevention and control, personal protective equipment, staffing plans, and supports for staff wellbeing.

Helping small businesses respond and recover

The board allocated $15 million for small business relief and recovery efforts, including adding $10 million to the Hennepin County Small Business Relief Fund for emergency financial relief. An additional $5M will go to future business recovery efforts.

The impacts of COVID-19 have disproportionately affected small and minority owned businesses, who have also faced the greatest challenges in accessing financial assistance from other state and federal relief programs. To address these disparities, Hennepin County is partnering with the Alliance for Metropolitan Stability and 10 community-based organizations to provide culturally-specific outreach and technical assistance.

The board also directed staff to develop guidelines and an implementation plan to help businesses reopen under new public health guidance and protocols.

This funding is expected to support response and recovery efforts for approximately 1,300 small businesses in Hennepin County.

The board previously approved $2 million of emergency business support to help local businesses recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19.

Learn more about the program.

Council on COVID-19 business recovery

A new Hennepin County Business Advisory Council will support the rapid recovery of businesses from COVID-19.

The board established the advisory council Tuesday, which will include 20-25 representatives with business experience and ability to represent the diversity of Hennepin County's business community.

Representatives will identify opportunities and needs in the business community, provide guidance and input to county staff on potential programs and initiatives, and act as a liaison between the business community and Hennepin County.

Emergency Rental Assistance

The board allocated $15 million for emergency rental assistance for low-income residents.

Low-income households and households of color have been disproportionately impacted by the economic consequences of COVID-19. Many low-income renter households are working in the industries that have lost the most jobs due to COVID-19. To address these disparities, funds will be targeted to renters with incomes below 50 percent of the area median income.

This funding is expected to help 9,000 low-income Hennepin County residents maintain stable housing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The board previously approved $740,000 to fund emergency housing assistance for renters and homeowners.

Learn more about the program.  

Supports for youth involved with county services

The board approved a directive focusing on youth educational stability, health and wellbeing.

Hennepin County will develop strategies to support youth impacted by COVID-19, particularly youth involved in county systems and out of home placement.

Efforts will focus on access to distance learning and educational stability.

Request to extend government services waivers

The board encouraged the extension of waivers that allow flexibility to provide county services while protecting the health and safety of staff and residents.

The board urges the governor, the state legislature and federal government to extend waivers granted to county governments in the administration of mandated services granted under the declaration of peacetime emergency related to COVID-19.

County governments will need a significant amount of time beyond the current emergency declaration to adjust service delivery models for long-term public health benefit.

Updated board meeting calendar

Commissioners amended the board meeting calendar to include additional meetings for timely response to COVID-19 related items.

Board meetings and committee meetings will now take place every week through the end of July.

View the updated calendar.

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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