Please view the following site for our Virtual Health Office at Cityview!
The Minnesota Department of Health is now offering free saliva testing at the Minneapolis Convention Center (1301 2nd Ave S; enter on the west side of the building off 1st Avenue). Testing is available daily, from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends. People can get tested on a walk-in basis but are encouraged to make an appointment to prevent crowding and long lines. Free parking will be available and marked in nearby surface lots and parking ramps. Get more information on saliva testing here.
Alternatively, the state is offering free at-home COVID-19 saliva tests. You do not need to have symptoms in order to request a test, which must be taken during a video chat with a supervisor who makes sure the test is done properly. You then send the test to a lab which will test your saliva and email your results one to two days after they receive the sample. The saliva test is just as accurate as the nasal swab test and is available at no cost for every Minnesotan, and insurance is not required. Request your at-home COVID-19 test here.
In addition, the City is offering free COVID-19 tests and flu shots at East Side Neighborhood Services (1700 2nd St NE) this Saturday, Nov. 14 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. All are welcome. You do not need insurance to get a COVID-19 test. If you have insurance, bring your card for the flu shot. If you don't have insurance, the flu shot is free. You can expect to get COVID-19 test results in about two business days.
To see more COVID-19 testing opportunities, check Hennepin County's upcoming community testing events and the state's list of its upcoming testing events. In addition, this state directory can help you find a testing location near you.
As COVID-19 puts additional strain on families and individuals, there are resources available to help. I will continue to share the following resources in each of my newsletters, and I encourage you to pass this information along to any family, friends, or neighbors who may can benefit from these programs.
State Housing Assistance Program
Minnesota's COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program has opened to cover housing expenses such as rent, mortgage, utilities or other housing-related costs. This program will help keep folks in their homes and maintain housing stability for eligible renters and homeowners in communities across the state. People in Minnesota interested in applying for assistance can call the Greater Twin Cities United Way's 211 Resource Helpline at 651-291-0211, text "MNRENT" or "MNHOME" to 898-211, or apply online here. The 211 Helpline has dedicated multilingual staff to answer questions about the COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. For questions regarding the application process, review COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program frequently asked questions.
Rental Assistance from Hennepin County
Hennepin County continues to offer assistance to residents in need that can be used to cover this month's rent or past-due rent from previous months. To qualify you must:
- Rent anywhere in Hennepin County.
- Have had household income below 50% of the area median income (about $46,550 for a three-person household) before COVID-19.
- Lost income due to COVID-19 that has not been replaced by unemployment insurance or other emergency assistance.
- Can't afford housing costs this month.
- Not currently receive Section 8 or other rental assistance.
Priority will be given to households with the lowest incomes and those not eligible for unemployment insurance. Learn more and apply for assistance here. If you do not have internet access or cannot complete the form in English call 612-302-3160.
Foreclosure Prevention Resources
The COVID-19 crisis continues to pose significant challenges for many in our community. If you or someone you know is struggling to meet your mortgage obligations, free assistance is available through the Minnesota Homeownership Center. A network of advisors can help you understand how to prevent foreclosure and connect you with resources to help during this challenging time. Learn more and find an advisor here.
Utility Bill Assistance During COVID-19
Too many of our neighbors have to choose between paying their energy bills and paying for other necessities. The state's Energy Assistance Program offers eligible residents help covering energy expenses so they don't have to choose. Through this program, renters and homeowners can access benefits ranging from $200 to $1,400, based on heating costs, household size, and household income. This assistance can be used to cover energy bills, or to repair or replace old or malfunctioning furnaces. Get more information and apply here.
In addition, during the COVID-19 pandemic, both of our local utility providers -- Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy -- have suspended shutoffs for non-payment until further notice. In addition, both companies are working with customers to provide help where possible. Arrange a payment plan by contacting Xcel Energy at 800-895-4999 and/or CenterPoint Energy at 800-245-2377.
Spanish/English COVID-19 Hotline
Hispanic Advocacy and Community Empowerment through Research (HACER) is partnering with the Minnesota Department of Health to launch a COVID-19 hotline in Spanish and English. This statewide service provides accurate and culturally relevant information regarding COVID-19 to Latinx communities. Call 651-304-6145 for assistance in Spanish with questions or concerns about where to get tested, what to do while you wait for results, and how to manage if you're test is positive. Program coordinators and hotline specialists are trained to best understand the needs of the Latinx community around the state as they relate to COVID-19 and will offer resources provided by the Minnesota Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and local organizations.
As we grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic this fall and winter, it's more important than ever to get a flu shot to protect yourself, your loved ones, and our community. Doing your part by getting a flu shot also helps protect frontline healthcare workers and emergency responders, and reduces the burden on our already-strained healthcare system. See where to get a flu shot here, including free options and clinics for those without insurance.
Flu shots are safe. During the 2018-19 flu season, vaccination prevented an estimated 4.4 million flu cases as well as 58,000 flu hospitalizations and 3,500 flu deaths. You can't catch the flu by getting a shot, and the vaccination is also offered as a spray if you don't like needles. Flu season lasts through March. By getting vaccinated now, you'll make sure you are protected all winter. If you can't get vaccinated now, you can still do it later - even in early 2021.
Free Covid-19 Testing
Testing for COVID-19 is available 7 days a week in Minneapolis. Tests are always free and offered in many ways - by appointment, walk-in, drive-through and in-home testing.
Read on to learn about important new testing options.
Finding testing locations:
· The Minnesota Department of Health Testing Locations website is frequently updated with new pop-up testing site locations.
· For questions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, call 651-297-1304 or 1-800-657-3504
Mon.-Fri.: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
New - Test safely from home:
· Learn how to receive a testing kit shipped straight to your home.
New - Testing site open 7 days a week:
· Minneapolis Convention Center
1301Ave South Minneapolis, MN 55403
· Accepting both symptomatic and asymptomatic patients.
· Walk-in or By Appointment
· Monday - Friday: 12 - 7 p.m.
· Saturday - Sunday: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m
· Schedule appointment with Vault Health at mncovidtestingappt.as.me or Walk-in
· Free parking will be available and marked in nearby surface lots and parking ramps.
· Enter on the west side of the building off 1st Avenue, then continue to exhibit room E.
Free cloths mask
Forwarding some resources from my Hennepin County colleagues.
· Does your organization have a need for cloth masks? Hennepin County has cloth masks available for organizations to distribute at no cost to people in the community and their employees. Fill out the survey to make your request today.
Free food give away
· NorthPoint is hosting a Free Food Giveaway Sat. 11/21/20 at 10 am -- Open to the public. ? More details here!
Free rent assistance
· Emergency Funding available for tenants to cover costs of unpaid rent and other housing costs due to COVID-19 Learn more and Apply at hennepin.us/housing-help. The deadline is to apply is quickly approaching!
Attached is information for:
· Suicide Hotline
· Suicide Text line
· Poison Hotline
· Human Trafficking Prevention
· Hennepin County Covid-19 Response line
· 211 United way
Hennepin County Covid-19 response team.docx