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COVID-19 response

You can access county services by phone, online, email, mail, drop off, or fax.

Visiting county buildings

  • All visitors to county facilities who are not fully vaccinated are required to wear face coverings.
  • Fully vaccinated people do not have to wear face coverings in county buildings, but are welcome to do so.
  • Fully vaccinated is defined as 14 days after the last dose in a person's vaccine series. Children under 5 are exempt from this requirement.
  • We ask that visitors who have tested positive for COVID-19 or who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms not enter county facilities.
  • We do not require visitors to have received a COVID-19 vaccination to enter a county facility.
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COVID-19 vaccine incentives

Starting July 1, Hennepin County is offering COVID-19 vaccine incentives to increase vaccine uptake in the community and reduce disparities. Hennepin County is offering vaccine incentives to individuals and to community organizations who help promote COVID-19 vaccination.

Instant vaccine incentives for individuals

Between July 1 and August 15, or as long as supplies last, Hennepin County is offering a $50 Visa gift card to:

  • everyone 18 and older who gets a first or second dose of COVID-19 vaccine at any Hennepin County vaccine event
  • parents/guardians of youth 12+ who get a first or second dose of COVID-19 vaccine at any Hennepin County vaccine event
  • unaccompanied youth able to consent who get a first or second dose of COVID-19 vaccine at any Hennepin County vaccine event

People who receive both doses will get two $50 Visa gift cards. These are county sponsored vaccine events, so there is no charge for the vaccine and you do not need to be a Hennepin County resident to participate. Limited walk-ins accepted. Pre-registration preferred.

For a list of upcoming vaccine events that are open to the public and to register, go to

For questions or for help registering, call the COVID-19 navigator line at 612-348-8900, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. After hours, you can leave a voicemail. Help is available is English, Spanish, Somali, and Hmong.

Vaccine incentives for community organizations

Hennepin County is also offering community organizations up to $3,000 in grants to use toward vaccine incentives. Examples of incentives that community organizations may offer include food, entertainment, vaccine education events, gift cards, and thank you packs. Organizations must use their vaccine incentive funds by September 30, 2021.

Community organizations can apply for a vaccine incentives grant at

COVID-19: Español (Spanish)

COVID-19: Hmoob (Hmong)

COVID-19: Oromo

COVID-19: Soomaali (Somali)

Hennepin County helpline flyer

Hate crime resource flyer

Immigration resource flyer

Language resources from Minnesota Department of Health

The Minnesota Department of Health has more COVID-19 information in multiple languages.

Funding comes from the federal CARES Act. The county received about $220 million and is using the funds in several ways in response to COVID-19.

Recent actions

  • $1.5 million allocated for the continuation of public information, engagement, and outreach regarding COVID-19
  • Rescind allocations that were used in 2020 to purchase properties providing alternative living accommodations for homeless individuals and county-dependent individuals impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic; authorize the use of 2020 fund balance for these property purchases


$27.9 million for small and self-employed businesses

Hennepin County Small Business Relief Program

  • Providing grants to 985 businesses totaling $9.3 million to date
  • Providing culturally specific outreach and technical assistance
  • Small business relief programs

$700,000 to establish a network that will aid businesses in COVID-19 recovery by providing peer-to-peer business roundtables, hosting critical topics series, and matching businesses with specialized technical assistance and coaching

$25.3 million from the State of Minnesota’s COVID-19 relief grant to support businesses and organizations impacted by COVID-19

$8 million to support local restaurants and bars during the COVID-19 crisis

Community organizations

$2.5 million to support non-profit and community organizations providing expanded safety net services due to COVID-19


Funding is targeted for youth involved in county systems, such as child welfare and corrections.

$1.5 million for distance learning

  • Purchasing devices, hotspots, and cell phones
  • Investing in broadband in places where many youth are without connectivity

$2.5 for educational support

  • Education planning, monitoring, coaching, and tutoring
  • Coordinating with school district staff, child welfare, Department of Community Corrections and Rehabilitation, Be@School staff, and related professionals
  • Arranging for other needed services
  • Building problem-solving and self-advocacy skills 
  • Developing support networks

Homelessness and Housing

$2.2 million to the Indoor Villages project, which will consist of 100 tiny structures inside a warehouse building (provides individual living space for each resident and connects them with supportive services)

$3.2 million to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at emergency shelters for people experiencing homelessness

$3.5 million to provide a low-barrier emergency shelter for people experiencing homelessness.

More than $20.6 million for safer shelter at hotels

  • Operating three hotel sites for people who cannot safely self-isolate
  • Working with Americorps to operate two hotel sites for seniors and people with underlying health conditions
  • Operating two hotel sites for people staying in shelter who have suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 

$7.3 million for an affordable housing stabilization fund

$1.3 million for culturally specific support

Efforts are targeted for the Native American community, which is disproportionally affected by homelessness.

  • Providing crisis outreach and housing navigation to people experiencing unsheltered homelessness
  • Connecting people to housing and shelter more rapidly
  • Support low-barrier housing

$3.6 million to purchase alternative living spaces for people experiencing homelessness

Food security

$3 million to food banks and other organizations 

2021 food distribution opportunities

Human services

$2.5 million for non-profits and community organizations

  • Supporting organizations that serve individuals, families, and youth involved in county systems
  • Providing funding for facility adaptations, technology, supplies, and PPE


$2.5 million for job search resources

  • Allocating funding to organizations serving people who are experiencing income loss due to COVID-19
  • Partnering with Twin West Chamber of Commerce to create an app that connect people with open jobs/careers

Licensing service centers

$3 million to reduce backlog

  • Modifying spaces at Brookdale, North Minneapolis Hub and Ridgedale, and potentially another location
  • Hiring staff and providing PPE and cleaning supplies
  • Providing technology including an online payment system, electronic locker system, and chat/instant messaging


$2.3 million for a public outreach campaign

Public health

$1.7 million for multidisciplinary approach to combat COVID-19

  • Hiring/contracting staff to provide mobile testing
  • Hiring staff for contact tracing and investigation
  • Supply PPE for staff

$44 million to Hennepin Healthcare for COVID-19 expenses from March through July

Rental and housing assistance

$15.7 million for emergency assistance for renters and homeowners

  • Targeting renters with incomes below 50 percent of the area median income
  • Helping an expected 9,000 residents maintain stable housing during the pandemic

$5 million to establish a program that will allow rental property owners to apply for emergency rental assistance on behalf of tenants who cannot pay due to COVID-19


$5.2 million in CARES funding to provide low-cost laptops to youth, adults and seniors who are participating in distance learning, pursuing employment or accessing county services and telehealth options


$100,000 to provide increased COVID-19 testing, follow-up services, and education to long-term care facilities.

$1.9 million to purchase saliva test kits from Vault Health and Hennepin Healthcare and $425,000 to Hennepin Healthcare to increase testing.


$3.5 million for absentee voting

  • Educating and encouraging voters to vote absentee
  • Counting increase in absentee ballots
  • Implementing public health measures in polling places
  • Recruiting polling place staff

$1 million for mailing absentee ballots and hiring additional seasonal staff to support absentee voting in the general election

$1.2 million to support the election, the majority of which Hennepin County will pass along to cities

Youth programs

$3 million to support summer youth programs

  • Helping organizations safely provide youth programs and organized youth sports
  • Supporting facility adaptations, technology, supplies and PPE

$175,000 to support safe participation in youth sports and programming

Additional funding

Hennepin County is using additional CARES funding to equip Hennepin County and Hennepin Healthcare staff to best serve residents during this pandemic.

Internal focus areas include:

  • Transitioning to new ways to deliver service
  • Time off/accommodations for employees
  • Health resources for employees
  • Emergency response
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