Nurses, First Responders, Essential Workers Honor Those Hurt by COVID-19

Media Advisory


Contact: Rick Fuentes
(o) 651-414-2863
(c) 612-741-0662

Amber Smigiel
(o) 651-414-2849
(c) 651-202-0845

(St. Paul) – April 30, 2020 – Minnesota nurses, firefighters, frontline workers, and employees designated essential will gather at the Minnesota State Capitol Friday night, May 1, to honor those who have become infected with COVID-19 while on the job.

In honor of International Workers’ Day as well as the Workers’ Memorial Day in Minnesota this week, workers on the frontline will light candles and give a short presentation on the Capitol steps to show support for workers quarantined, hospitalized, or injured, or who have died due to their dedication to serving fellow Minnesotans.

Minnesota statistics show about 18% of COVID-19 positive cases have been healthcare workers. So far, research shows workers are far more likely to become infected from the SARS-COV2 virus, especially in congregate living settings, due to the nature of their jobs. Similarly, the lack of symptoms from COVID-19 positive residents makes it more difficult for first responders to protect themselves adequately, especially considering the ongoing shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The continued rationing of PPE further increases the risks to workers and their families.


When: Friday, May 1, 2020, 7:30-8:30 p.m.”Candle” lighting begins at 7:30 p.m.
First speaker begins at 8:15 p.m. Last speaker ends at 8:30 p.m.

Where: Minnesota State Capitol steps 75 Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard,
St Paul, MN 55155

Who: MNA President Mary C. Turner, RN
MN Professional Firefighters Association Chris Parsons
UFCW LOCAL 663 Secretary-Treasurer Paul Crandall
Representative of UNITE HERE!
Representative of SEIU Healthcare
MN AFL-CIO President Bill McCarthy

What: Candlelight vigil and short presentation

Why: To honor workers who have come become infected with COVID-19 due to their employment.


Note: The program will take place outside, where nurses and attendees will practice 6 feet of social distancing. Additionally, for reporters who are uncomfortable attending the event in person or who are themselves practicing self-quarantine measures, the press conference will be streaming here: