December 2020 newsletter: Information on COVID-19, budget update, food and basic needs

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December 2020 Newsletter

In this issue:

- Coronavirus/COVID-19 update.
- Public hearing for 2021 supplemental budget.
- Food and basic needs assistance.
- Parks & Recreation outdoor winter activities.
- Virtual Hub for the Holidays.
- Upcoming events.
- In the news.

Resident cross country skiing

COVID-19: Stay home and stay safe

Dial Back, Minnesota is in effect until Dec. 20. This temporary pause of most social activities, in-person dining, sports and indoor fitness activity is meant to help reduce the number of COVID-19 infections while safely supporting our schools, hospitals and economy.

Visit to learn more


Free saliva testing in Saint Paul

Person holding saliva testing

Photo credit: Minnesota Department of Health

Relief programs and support available

Testing for COVID-19 is an important strategy in slowing the spread of the virus. The state of Minnesota is offering free saliva testing at the Roy Wilkins Auditorium in Saint Paul. Testing is available seven days a week and free to all Minnesotans who believe they need a COVID-19 test, including those who are asymptomatic. 

View all COVID-19 testing sites in Ramsey County

No-cost at-home COVID-19 saliva testing is also available to all Minnesotans. COVID-19 Test at Home

RISE programs for residents and business owners

Have you been impacted by COVID-19? Relief programs are available to help you, your family and your business including

  • Emergency assistance (rent, mortgage, utilities, car repairs).
  • Employment assistance.
  • Home meal delivery.
  • Landlord Assistance.
  • Small Business Relief Fund ($6 million in new funding now available).

Learn more at


Modified services at the Library

Ramsey County Library is committed to providing efficient, effective and equitable operational approaches during the COVID-19 pandemic. We have a variety of modified services available for residents but are not limited to:

  • Holds and printed documents pickup via curbside or grab and go services.
  • Home delivery for eligible Ramsey County residents.
    Ramsey County Service Centers at the libraries in Maplewood, Roseville and Shoreview.
  • Community Career Labs at the libraries in Maplewood and Roseville.
  • Provisional library accounts.
  • Digital resources, online services and virtual programs.

Learn more about modified services


Free masks available through the A Mask for Everyone initiative

Are you in need of face masks?

Free masks are available to individuals, families, community organizations and small businesses through the A Mask for Everyone initiative.

Launched this summer by the COVID-19 Racial Equity and Community Engagement Response Team, the goal of the program is to ensure that everyone in Ramsey County - specifically racially, ethnically and culturally diverse communities - have access to a homemade mask to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

You can also help keep our community safe by donating homemade cloth masks by mail or at a collection box.

Request masks and view donation locations


Job fair and workshops for job seekers available Dec. 7-11

Join us Dec. 7-11 for Move Forward Week to learn new job search techniques that work best during the pandemic and to get motivated for your next career! You will hear from top rated speakers, make connections with employers and industry professionals, and enjoy skill training workshops.

No registration required, all are welcome. Join in any or all of the virtual sessions to Move Forward with your career.

Visit to view available workshops.

Board of commissioners votes on 2021 supplemental budget

The Ramsey County Board of Commissioners is scheduled to vote on the county's 2021 supplemental budget and 2021 property tax levy at its regularly scheduled meeting on Dec. 15.

A public hearing on the budget was held Monday, Nov. 30. Visit to view a video of the event and budget materials.

Food and basic needs assistance

Food and basic needs

Many people in Ramsey County are struggling with access to enough healthy food. Information on food and basic needs resources is on our website, including assistance programs:

  • To increase monthly food budgets.
  • For children under the age of 18.
  • For seniors.
  • For residents with transportation or mobility barriers

An interactive map is also available to help locate food resources in your neighborhood.


Social distanced outdoor fall and winter fun

Two residents cross-country skiing

Ramsey County’s parks, trails and open spaces have become a source of stress relief and physical activity for many during this difficult year, allowing visitors to strike a balance between social distancing and feeling a sense of connection to nature and their community.

While the cold weather may change the way people enjoy the outdoors, there are still plenty of opportunities for fun – hiking, biking, sledding, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are just the tip of the iceberg.

Explore winter time offerings through Parks & Recreation

Enjoy Hub for the Holidays from home

Tree lighting outside at Union Depot

2018 Union Depot tree lighting

This year’s Hub for the Holidays at Union Depot is going virtual! In order to ensure the health and safety of the community, Hub for the Holidays will feature virtual event experiences including shopping at the European Christmas Market, participating in the holiday memories photo contest and watching the holiday tree lighting.

Learn more about Hub for the Holidays

Calendar icon on teal colored divider bar

Upcoming events

Lexington Parkway

Board of Commissioners Meeting
Tuesdays, Dec. 1, 15 and 22.

Lexington Parkway Reconstruction Open House
Tuesday, Dec. 1.

Youth and Young Adult Employment Community Conversation
Tuesday, Dec. 1.

Riverview Corridor Community Committees Virtual Information Session
Tuesday, Dec. 1.

Legislative Engagement 101
Wednesday, Dec. 9.

Active Living Ramsey Communities Quarterly Meeting
Monday, Dec. 14.

COVID-19 Community Conversations with Dr. Lynne Ogawa
Wednesday, Dec. 16.

Christmas Day - holiday
County offices and Library locations closed.
Friday, Dec. 25.

Newspaper icon on blue colored divider bar.

In the news