City of Minneapolis News Update: March 10, 2021

CoM news update

March 10, 2021

This newsletter provides updates on the City's response to COVID-19, an overview of recovery efforts underway, efforts to transform public safety and other important news and information from the City of Minneapolis.

Gov. Walz expands vaccine eligibility as State reaches goal of 70% of seniors vaccinated


Gov. Tim Walz announced March 9 that Minnesota is expanding vaccine eligibility as the State reaches its goal of vaccinating 70% of Minnesotans 65 years of age and older this week. The announcement comes several weeks ahead of schedule after the state moved quickly to use more vaccine from the federal government.

As a result, the State will expand eligibility to the next two phases of Minnesotans at once, starting today, March 10. Providers have been directed to prioritize people in the first of these phases, which includes Minnesotans with specific underlying health conditions; food processing plant workers; and Minnesotans with rare conditions or disabilities that put them at higher risk of severe illness. Providers will then have the flexibility to provide available appointments to other eligible Minnesotans.

More than 1.8 million Minnesotans will become eligible to receive a vaccine beginning this week:

  • Minnesotans with specific underlying health conditions: Sickle cell disease, Down syndrome, those in cancer treatment or immunocompromised from organ transplant, oxygen-dependent chronic lung and heart conditions (COPD & CHF).
  • Targeted essential workers: Food processing plant workers.
  • Minnesotans with rare conditions or disabilities that put them at higher risk of severe illness.
  • Minnesotans age 45 years and older with one or more underlying medical conditions identified by the CDC.
  • Minnesotans age 16 years and older with two or more underlying medical conditions.
  • Minnesotans age 50 years and older in multi-generational housing.
  • Essential frontline workers: Agricultural, airport staff, additional child care workers not previously eligible, correctional settings, first responders, food production, food retail, food service, judicial system workers, manufacturing, public health workers, public transit, and U.S. Postal Service workers.

All Minnesotans who have not received a vaccine should sign up for the COVID-19 Vaccine Connector to get regular updates on vaccine availability and eligibility. In some cases, health care providers or employers will have more information for patients or employees on vaccine availability.

Learn more about vaccine distribution in Minnesota

Operation Safety Net leaders share update as Chauvin trial begins with jury selection

Law enforcement officials with Operation Safety Net held a news conference March 8 -- the first day of jury selection in the trial of former MPD officer Derek Chauvin, who is charged with murder in the death of George Floyd. 

Operation Safety Net is a coordinated effort among local and state law enforcement agencies focused on public safety during the Chauvin trial. 

Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo and other law enforcement leaders commended protesters who have participated in peaceful demonstrations as the trial gets underway. 

Watch the briefing

Learn more about Operation Safety Net

City offers web resource with trial information

A new City web resource offers information and updates around the trial of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, who is charged with murder in the death of George Floyd.

City information and links to partners in the new web section will help residents, businesses and others:

  • Find current street closures.
  • Sign up for trial updates from MN District Court.
  • Report suspicious activity.
  • Look up mental health and well-being resources for support during traumatic times.

They can also explore ways to prepare and stay informed, learn about security preparations and updates during the trial, follow impacts to traffic and transportation, and find public data on the officers involved.

The web pages will be updated as new information becomes available and as situations change.

City’s Just Deeds Project will allow Minneapolis homeowners to discharge racial covenants recorded against properties, reclaim homes as equitable spaces


The City of Minneapolis has launched a new initiative providing Minneapolis homeowners with the opportunity to learn about, acknowledge and discharge racial covenants recorded against their properties. The City’s Just Deeds Project, led by the City Attorney’s Office, will allow people to reclaim their homes as equitable spaces.

Racial covenants were binding documents recorded against a property’s title, which prohibited all future owners of the property from selling it, renting it, or allowing it to be used by people of certain races or ethnicities. Racial covenants were recorded on residential properties in Minneapolis by developers and homeowners beginning in the 1910s to prevent the sale and use of these properties to non-white Minneapolitans. Mapping Prejudice, a research project based in the Borchert Map Library at the University of Minnesota, has compiled a map of over 8,000 properties in Minneapolis with racial covenants. 

Through the City’s Just Deeds Project, Minneapolis homeowners can acknowledge and disclaim the racial covenants recorded against their properties by recording a discharge form against their property title. The City Attorney’s Office staff will assist homeowners in completing this process free of charge. Hennepin County has also waived its typical fees associated with this process. Participation in the City’s program will be first-come, first-serve, subject to staffing availability. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.

Learn more about the Just Deeds Project by visiting the City’s website or by emailing

Read more about the Just Deeds Project

Learn more about Just Deeds coalition partners committed to acknowledging and addressing systemic racism in housing in Minnesota at

Government Center services relocating during Chauvin trial; pandemic service changes continue

Hennepin County remains committed to providing services to residents during the ongoing pandemic and during the trial of Derek Chauvin, who is charged with murder in the death of George Floyd. Many county services continue to be offered online, by phone and in person by appointment in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hennepin County’s role in the trial is to ensure that the Fourth Judicial District Court can conduct business in a safe and effective manner. To do that, it is necessary to restrict access to the Government Center to court-related services and implement additional security measures inside and outside the building

Access to the Government Center will be restricted to the operations of District Court for the duration of the trial. The Government Center Parking Ramp will also be closed to the public. 

Learn more

Sign up for updates from the Minnesota Judicial Branch on the State of MN vs. Chauvin case

Everyone is invited to sign up for updates on the State of MN vs. Chauvin case from the Minnesota Judicial Branch webpage.

The webpage includes all public documents filed in the case and other information. This case was filed in Hennepin County District Court May 29, 2020.

Apply for emergency rent assistance from Hennepin County

rental assistance

Hennepin County is offering emergency rent assistance. Households with unpaid rent and low incomes may qualify. The deadline to apply is noon Friday, March 19. Apply now.

While you can’t be evicted for not paying rent during Gov. Walz’s executive order, rent is still due. When the order is lifted, people owing unpaid rent could be at risk for eviction.

This is an initial short-term program for urgent needs. More help will be offered through a statewide COVID-19 Emergency Rent Assistance program opening later this month.

City issues request for proposals for new mobile behavioral health crisis teams

The City of Minneapolis has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for mobile behavioral health crisis teams to support people experiencing a crisis. The deadline for the RFP is March 31.

This alternative to police response pilot project will send an unarmed, highly trained and empathetic team to properly assess their needs and provide appropriate care or support while avoiding unnecessary hospitalization and criminalization. Behavioral health response teams will include behavioral health providers and may include emergency medical technicians (EMT) or emergency medical services (EMS).

This pilot project is part of the City’s transforming community safety work. The City’s realignment to provide a holistic community safety response will take place in phases over time with much staff, partner and community participation. It focuses on three main areas: a public-health-oriented response for preventing violence, alternatives to police response for 911 calls and reforming law enforcement policies, protocols and practices.

Learn more about this work on the City’s website.

Free COVID-19 tests detect COVID even as variants


The City of Minneapolis is offering free COVID-19 saliva tests. Testing is encouraged and available to everyone, whether or not you have symptoms. It’s one of the best ways to stop the spread of COVID-19 and help prevent exposing your loved ones to the virus along with wearing masks correctly, keeping 6 feet from anyone you don’t live with and hand-washing.

Testing is especially important now with people going back to school and because some of the recently found variants seem to spread more easily than the original strain – up to 70% more.

The State of Minnesota especially recommends these people get tested:

Free COVID-19 tests

Do not eat, drink or use tobacco products for 30 minutes before taking a COVID-19 saliva test.

  • Minneapolis Public Schools Davis Center, 1250 West Broadway 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays, March 13 and 20
  • Columbia Manor Golf Course, 3300 Central Ave. NE 4-7 p.m. Thursdays, March 11, 18 and 25

You can expect to get your test results in about two business days.

More free COVID-19 saliva tests

  • Minneapolis Convention Center, 1301 Second Ave. S., Exhibit Room B 10 a.m.-6 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. weekends Visit the State’s COVID-19 testing webpage to register.
  • Native American Community Clinic, 1213 E. Franklin Ave. 2 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays Appointments required: Call 612-872-8086 to schedule an appointment.
  • Southside Community Health Services, 324 E. 35th St. 2-3 p.m. Mondays through Fridays Appointments required: Call 612-821-3548 to schedule an appointment. You can expect to get your test results in about two-three business days. Same day testing can be done for health care workers, first responders and essential workers.
  • Brooklyn Park Starlight Center 11 a.m.-7 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. weekends. Visit the State’s COVID-19 testing webpage to register.
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport 7 a.m.-7 p.m. seven days a week. Visit the State’s COVID-19 testing webpage to register.

Find a current list of free COVID-19 tests on the City website.

Why get tested? Videos in Spanish, Somali and Hmong

Whether you feel sick or not, get tested. This will protect your loved ones and help us all return safely back to school, work and other activities.

Watch and share these short videos in Spanish, Somali and Hmong.

$15 online workshops: creating resilient yards


Ready to spend more time in your yard? Do you want to improve it but don’t know where to start? Learn with experts to plan and create beautiful, functional spaces that also protect the local ecosystem whether you want a raingarden and native prairie, or a low-maintenance lawn that also helps pollinators.


This spring, webinars feature experts in landscape design, pollinator habitat, soil health, native plants and yard maintenance. Presentations are followed by a Q&A, or discussions in small groups or one on one with a Blue Thumb landscape designer and UMN Extension Master Gardener volunteer – Hennepin County.

Scholarships are available on request. Space is limited. For more information and to register, go to or call 651-699-2426.

Interested in rooftop solar for your home?

If you’re considering the benefits of going solar, make sure to look into these options. The City of Minneapolis has a 10% local solar goal as part of its climate action plan to reduce greenhouse gases, and we are at 6%.

Twin Cities Region Solar Co-op

Twin Cities Region Solar Co-op launched to help Minneapolis homeowners get rooftop solar. The solar co-op is neighbors joining together to get the best price and service from a solar installer, tap into the expertise at Solar United Neighbors and learn about solar incentives. The City of Minneapolis is partnering in this effort.

Join in an optional webinar at 6:30 p.m. March 24 for more information. Register here.

Membership is open through May 1. Learn more at

Xcel Energy’s Solar*Rewards

With Xcel Energy’s Solar*Rewards program, if you produce more energy than you need, the extra energy is added to the grid, and any excess energy will be credited to your bill.

Learn more on the Xcel Energy website.

Public health information: Slow the spread of COVID-19


City's Cultural Radio Programs

Tune into the City's cultural radio programs for COVID-19 updates. The City has programs on KMOJ 89.9 FM (English); La Raza 95.7 FM (Spanish); KALY 101.7 FM (Somali); and WIXK AM 1590 (Hmong.) Radio shows schedule

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People who are deaf or hard of hearing can use a relay service to call 311 at 612-673-3000. TTY users can call 612-263-6850.

Para asistencia 612-673-2700, Yog xav tau kev pab, hu 612-673-2800, Hadii aad Caawimaad u baahantahay 612-673-3500.