Hennepin County News and COVID-19 Update - June 13

commissioner marion greene

June 13, 2020

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

I hope that this week's newsletter finds you well, and that you are finding ways to balance the challenges and weight of the moment. 

Hennepin County and the District 3 office are here if you need to engage with one of our many services or supports. We want to hear from you whether it be comments, opinions, ideas, or if you need assistance. The most efficient way to be in touch is by emailing my district aide, Laura Hoffman, at laura.hoffman@hennepin.us.

Be well,

marion signature

County CARES Act Allocations

The board allocated $3.5 million of CARES Act funding for absentee voting, with a goal of increasing safety in the 2020 election for voters and elections workers.

The board designated $1.7 million of CARES Act funding for a multi-faceted approach to minimizing the spread of COVID-19.

Hennepin County will:

  • Hire 25 staff to provide mobile testing at long-term care facilities, neighborhoods and communities most disproportionately impacted, and other emergent locations
  • Hire 15 staff for contact tracing and investigation efforts
  • Contract with Hennepin Healthcare to provide COVID-19 testing services
  • Supply the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) for these staff

Hennepin County joins other government partners in requesting state and federal aid for properties that were damaged during civil unrest. The board affirmed its support of these efforts on Thursday and amended its 2020 state legislative platform.

The board allocated $1 million of CARES Act funding to help organizations safely provide youth programs and organized youth sports during COVID-19. Organizations will use funding for facility adaptations, technology, supplies and personal protective equipment.

The board approved $1.5 million of CARES Act spending to support resources for distance learning for youth involved in county systems, such as child welfare and corrections.

Filing Insurance Claims on Damaged Property

As our community works through the tragic events following the murder of George Floyd, the Minnesota Department of Commerce stands ready to assist business owners, property owners and renters in your community that experienced property damage or loss. The following links contain information on making and filing insurance claims on damaged property so that individuals may access relief as quickly as possible and avoid scammers who may attempt to take advantage of the situation. 

Knowledge is the First Step

Complex structural racism, which perpetuates racial inequity in this country, won't be dismantled overnight. There is much work to be done, both on an individual level and on an organizational level. But if there's anything the library understands, it is that knowledge is a critical first step, and educating ourselves is a good place to begin this work.

Hennepin County Library is dedicated to listening, learning, educating, and making the critical changes needed to move toward a more just world.

As part of our library’s commitment to listening, learning and taking action, four e-books are now available with no holds: How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi, White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo, Me and White Supremacy by Layla Saad, and The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander.


These four titles bring to light the many ways in which racism functions, damages, and is perpetuated in our modern world. These books pose essential questions to each of us: How can we hold ourselves accountable? And also, how can we contribute to a society of true equity and justice? If you're hungry for even more reading, the University of Minnesota Press has made available a collection of anti-racist books to all to read online for free through August 31.

Lake Street – Cedar Lake Parkway Closure



As noticed in the construction update that came out earlier today, a 16-day closure of Cedar Lake Parkway has been scheduled to begin Monday, July 6. This work will include the removal of the old freight rail crossing, installation of supportive sheeting, and repaving of the road. Some additional details:

  • There will be no work on weekends during this closure; the closure will remain in place during the affected weekends (see below note about continuous ped and bike access)
  • Automobiles will be prohibited from using Cedar Lake Parkway to cross the Kenilworth Corridor area. The limits of the closure would be between Burnham Road and Xerxes Avenue South. Signed detour routes will be in effect.

Pedestrians and bicyclists will be able to cross the Kenilworth Corridor on an ADA-compliant path. Access during the closure will be limited to one side of the road and will shift to the south side of the roadway to accommodate the work.

  • As with the previous closure, both the Burnham Road bridge and portions of Lake of the Isles Parkway will be converted to a two-way condition for the duration of the closure to accommodate local residential traffic.
  • The detour map can be found on our website; we will continue to communicate this closure out to the community in the coming weeks.

The intersection of West 28th Street and Dean Court has been partially reopened to accommodate traffic through Calhoun Isles Condos. The sewer utility work at that intersection is expected to be complete in mid-June.

Hennepin County Cooling Locations



To assist in escaping the heat, view the Cooling Option interactive map below which shows cool places throughout Hennepin County. We have restructured the map to adhere to government mandates regarding COVID-19. Although we will do our best to update information as it becomes available, since the closure status of many facilities and businesses is changing constantly please check with each location before visiting. Also check for mask, social distancing and any other regulations implemented by that facility.

Use the county's interactive map to find cooling locations near you.

Renew Driver's Licenses and ID Cards Online


In Minnesota you can now renew your standard driver’s license or ID card online (if there is no change to your name, address, signature, or license number).

Quit Partner Program

New Quit Partner Program available to help people who want to quit using commercial tobacco products



Did you know Quit Partner offers free help to quit smoking, vaping or chewing? You can get free quit coaching, free medications like patches, gum or lozenges—and more. Get started at QuitPartnerMN.com

Support Local Community Efforts to Rebuild

Support is needed as communities across Minneapolis rebuild. The following links connect to organizations in-need or organizations directing rebuilding efforts. The links are by no means an exhaustive list, so please reach out to my office if you'd like help finding a cause, organization, or service to support.


Resources For Food, Clothing, Financial Assistance, Medication

With the loss of grocery stores and other damage affecting people’s access to food, clothing, financial assistance, groceries, medical care and equipment, and medication, the City of Minneapolis is compiling this list of resources to help residents.

Note: Information is changing rapidly. Please confirm the locations are still accepting or handing out donations before heading out: overview of resources

For information on how to support food shelves and meal sites, please visit the Health Department’s food donations page or view the pdf for specific needs shared by food shelves.


Stay Safe While Protesting


We recommend that any Minnesotan who has attended a protest, vigil, or community clean-up get tested for COVID-19. If you start to feel sick, get tested right away. If you do not feel sick, get tested as soon as you can, but no later than 5-7 days after the event.

Find a COVID-19 testing location near you at mn.gov/covid19/for-minnesotans/if-sick/testing-locations/index.jsp. More community-based testing locations are coming very soon- be on lookout for location announcements

Emergency Rental Assistance Due to COVID-19


Hennepin County has emergency rental assistance available for low-income residents who can’t afford rent due to COVID-19. Learn more and apply here.


Small Business Relief Fund Increase

This week, the board continued small business relief funding — bringing the total to $25 million invested — and approved culturally-specific support for people experiencing homelessness.

Learn more about how the Board of Commissioners is responding.

Request Your Absentee Ballot


All eligible voters in Minnesota can choose to vote by mail via absentee ballot. 

To complete the application for an absentee ballot online you must:

  • Be eligible to register and vote in Minnesota
  • Provide an email address
  • Provide your identification number: MN-issued driver's license, Minnesota ID card or last 4 digits of Social Security Number

Complete your absentee ballot request here.

Up-to-Date Resources

Community resources


Hennepin County Services

Up-to-date information about how to access Hennepin County services.

Hennepin County local resource site for information on food, health, safety, and housing resources.

Hennepin County Library Curbside Pickup FAQ

The Domestic Abuse Service Center is currently operating remotely. All services can be accessed by calling (612) 348-5073.


Health Resources

Find COVID-19 testing locations

State of Minnesota Dedicated COVID-19 Hotlines: 

  • Community (schools, child care, business) questions: 651-297-1304 or 1-800-657-3504 (7:00 am – 7:00 pm)
  • Health questions: 651-201-3920 or 1-800-657-3903 (7:00 am – 7:00 pm)

Ways to create your own non-medical grade mask.

Contact Standpoint advocacy services at 612-743-7397 if you are experience domestic abuse/violence.


Housing Resources

Call 612-348-5553 to speak with Healthcare for the Homeless staff about accessing quarantine and isolation space. 

Homes for All COVID-19 Housing and Homelessness Resources

Additional resources for those experiencing housing instability. 

Apply for Minnesota’s Energy Assistance Program


Food Resources

Minneapolis Public Schools meal pickup information

Saint Louis Park public school meal distribution information

'Free Meals for Kids' Mobile App

Designate someone to use your EBT card on your behalf.

MetroMobility offering grocery delivery to certified riders

Apply for Emergency Assistance (EA) and Emergency General Assistance (EGA), and other assistance.


For Businesses

Business District Toolkit to help community partners navigate and respond to the changing demands on public spaces.

Guidance from MN DEED for safe reopening starting June 1


For Essential Workers

Metro Mobility service for healthcare workers

Free Nice Ride memberships available for healthcare workers.

Healthcare Worker Childcare through U of MN Medical Student Group


Learn from Home

Learn about free and low-cost internet options to support distance learning.

Play at Home, Short Plays to Watch at Home

Find your next read at the Advocates for Human Rights Book Club.

Stream movies from MSP Film Society Virtual Cinema's selection or rent from the parkway theater.

Minnesota Orchestra at Home

Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA)

Learn from Home with the Science Museum of Minnesota

Walker Art Center's Living Collections Catalogue

The Theater of Public Policy Spring Season is being livestreamed

DNR Eagle Cam


Additional Community Resources

Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid COVID legal FAQ page

Scams related to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

City of Minneapolis Stay Healthy Streets. 

Twin Cities Restaurant Curbside Order Pick Ups Options

Contact us

Marion Greene
Commissioner, 3rd District

Elie Farhat
Principal Aide

Laura Hoffman
District Aide


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