Minnesota Nurses Association Statement on Coronavirus (COVID-19)
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UPDATE: July 2, 2020: MNA Supports Mandatory Mask Policy to Protect Public Health
UPDATE: June 10, 2020: MNA Encourages Governor Walz and Lawmakers to Extend the Peacetime State of Emergency
UPDATE: May 18, 2020: Nurses Will Picket United Hospital and March to State Capitol
UPDATE: May 18, 2020: Nurses Will Testify at House Hearing on Hospital Safety During Pandemic
UPDATE: May 13, 2020: MNA Response to Opening Up Minnesota’s Stay at Home Order
UPDATE: May 6, 2020: MNA Nurses Warn of Risks of Resuming Elective Procedures Without Precautions
UPDATE: April 25, 2020: MNA Response to Opening Up Minnesota to Out-of-State Nurses
UPDATE: April 23, 2020: MNA Nurses Applaud St. Paul Council Measure to Protect COVID-19 Frontline Workers
UPDATE: April 17, 2020: Issue Brief » Antibody Testing for SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19
UPDATE: April 13, 2020: Nursing in a Pandemic – MNA Tele-town hall on COVID-19
UPDATE: April 8, 2020: Workers’ Compensation Presumptive Eligibility for COVID-19
UPDATE: April 7, 2020: To show your support for fellow nurses on social media, we have put together some information to help share with nurses across the nation – MNA Social Media Support for Nurses
UPDATE: April 3, 2020: MNA Position on Relaxation of Barriers to Licensure for Out-of-State Nurses
UPDATE: March 28, 2020: We are no longer accepting donations. If you still have equipment to donate, please refer to Minnesota Government’s PPE donation website here
UPDATE: March 24, 2020: Due to Governor Walz’s Stay at Home Order, the last day of our COVID-19 Healthcare Supplies Drive will be Thursday, March 26, from 12-2 p.m. If you still have equipment to donate, please refer to the Emergency Operations Center at email@example.com or donate them directly to a healthcare worker you know.
UPDATE: March 23, 2020: MNA COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions and Resources
UPDATE: March 22, 2020: Updated list of items being accepted during the COVID-19 Healthcare Supplies Donation Drive
UPDATE: March 20, 2020: Minnesota Nurses Asking for Public to Donate COVID-19 Protective Masks
UPDATE: March 18, 2020: MNA’s letters to hospitals to meet and discuss COVID-19 preparedness issues
UPDATE: March 13, 2020: Important COVID-19 update to members from MNA Executive Director Rose Roach
UPDATE: March 12, 2020: MNA and SEIU Minnesota State Council have both canceled their 2020 Lobby Days due to the Novel Coronavirus outbreak and the need for union members who are on the front line of caring for tens of thousands of Minnesotans every day to be healthy so they can provide the critical services needed in the coming weeks. Read the full press release here.
UPDATE: March 10, 2020: Both the Minnesota House and Senate have passed an emergency appropriations bill for state agencies for staff, protective gear, and testing equipment for COVID-19. Governor Walz is expected to sign the bill as soon as possible. It will provide almost $21 million to increase testing for the virus.
MNA President Mary C. Turner has been named to the Governor’s Task Force on COVID-19 preparedness. The task force will begin meeting immediately to assess needs and shortcomings in hospitals across the state.
UPDATE: March 9, 2020: As of March 8, two cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Minnesota. Minnesota has a strong disease surveillance system in place that includes partnerships with our hospital and clinic systems as well as local health departments. Finding cases quickly and responding to them effectively is key. That rapid response helps ensure that the ill person receives the care they need and it lessens the chance of other people getting sick. The Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 Hotline is 651-201-3920. More MDH resources are available here: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/index.html
If you have workplace safety or health questions or concerns, contact MNOSHA Compliance at 651-284-5050 or firstname.lastname@example.org. More MNOSHA resources are available here: https://dli.mn.gov/business/workplace-safety-and-health/mnosha-compliance-novel-coronavirus-covid-19
The spread of the Coronavirus COVID-19 is a fast-changing and developing situation. Because there is still much we don’t know about the virus, hospitals and healthcare employers have a duty to protect patients and staff, determined by the precautionary principle, which “states that we should not wait until we know for sure that something is harmful before we take action to protect people’s health.”
In addition, hospitals should take an all-hazards approach to preparation rather than scrambling to react. An all-hazards approach considers the possibility of loss of utilities, mass influx of patients from a disaster, epidemic, or pandemic, among other emergent situations.
MNA has advocated for the protection of healthcare workers in the recent past when the threat of infectious disease has made it necessary to enact plans to respond to specific threats. These have included SARS, MeRs, H1N1, EVD, and now, COVID-19.
We have requested information from all of our represented healthcare facilities regarding COVID-19 preparedness and response. Member leaders and staff will discuss what needs to happen at their facility. This could include: bargaining, meeting in labor-management committees, health and safety committees, infection control committees, nursing practice and care delivery committees.
We are participating in weekly calls with the Minnesota Department of Health regarding COVID-19. These calls include nursing homes, health care coalitions, regional public health departments, tribal health services, emergency medical services, counties and schools in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin as well as representatives from hospitals and health systems.
MNA has encouraged state legislative leaders and committees to pass legislation like SF 3813, which would appropriate millions of dollars to the public health response contingency account in order to respond to an outbreak of the virus as quickly and completely as possible.
For reliable, up-to-date information, please consult these resources:
World Health Organization (WHO)’s Situation Reports at https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/situation-reports
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s webpage on the novel coronavirus at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/summary.html
Minnesota Department of Health Situation Update for Coronavirus Disease 2019: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/situation.html
Wisconsin Department of Health Services COVID-19: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/disease/covid-19.htm
Iowa Department of Public Health Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19): https://idph.iowa.gov/Emerging-Health-Issues/Novel-Coronavirus
North Dakota Department of Health Coronavirus: https://www.health.nd.gov/diseases-conditions/coronavirus
National Nurses United COVID-19: What Nurses Need to Know: https://www.nationalnursesunited.org/2019-nCoV
 From CMS: All-Hazards Approach: An all-hazards approach is an integrated approach to emergency preparedness planning that focuses on capacities and capabilities that are critical to preparedness for a full spectrum of emergencies or disasters, including internal emergencies and a man-made emergency (or both) or natural disaster. This approach is specific to the location of the provider or supplier and considers the particular type of hazards most likely to occur in their areas. These may include, but are not limited to, care-related emergencies, equipment and power failures, interruptions in communications, including cyber-attacks, loss of a portion or all of a facility, and interruptions in the normal supply of essentials such as water and food. Rather than managing planning initiatives for a multitude of threat scenarios, all-hazards planning focuses on developing capacities and capabilities that are critical to preparedness for a full spectrum of emergencies or disasters. Thus, all-hazards planning does not specifically address every possible threat but ensures those hospitals and all other providers and suppliers will have the capacity to address a broad range of related emergencies.
Below: NNU Press Conference on Coronavirus preparedness.