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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 are required to wear face coverings.
  • Children under 5 are exempt from this requirement.
  • Visitors who have tested positive for COVID-19 or who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should not enter county buildings.
  • We do not require visitors to have received a COVID-19 vaccination to enter a county building.
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Hennepin County is helping ensure that all people in Hennepin County who want the vaccine can get it.

Updates

The county is now offering Pfizer booster shots at the events and clinics listed below. See if you're eligible for a booster on the Minnesota Department of Health website.

The county is offering $50 Visa gift cards to community members and employees who receive a first dose, second dose, or booster dose at Hennepin County vaccine events or clinics listed below, as supplies last.

Upcoming COVID-19 vaccine events

Note: If you are registering for a vaccination through Hennepin County for the first time and have already received a 1st or 2nd dose, please have dose dates on hand before starting the online registration. Call 612-348-8900 if you do not remember your previous dose dates.

Register for an event.

You can also register for an event below by calling 612-348-8900. Help is available in English, Spanish, Somali, and Hmong.

Walk-ins accepted at select events.   

Wednesday, December 1, 2–5 p.m. (12+ year-olds only)

Friday, December 3, 1–4:30 p.m. (12+ year-olds only)

Saturday, December 4, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (12+ year-olds only)

Tuesday, December 7, 4:30-8:30 p.m. (5-11 year-olds only)

Tuesday, December 21, 4:30-8:30 p.m. (5-11 year-olds only)

Other Hennepin County sites offering the COVID-19 vaccine and $50 vaccine incentive

Hennepin County Public Health Clinic

The Hennepin County Public Health Clinic is offering COVID-19 vaccinations to people 12 and older during regular clinic hours. The clinic has Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson.

Call 612-543-5555 to schedule an appointment or for more information.

Walk-ins are accepted during clinic hours, as supply allows.

Clinic hours

  • Monday to Wednesday: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Thursday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Friday: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Clinic address

525 Portland Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55415

NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center

Visit NorthPoint's website for current info on vaccine events.

Instant vaccine incentives for individuals

Hennepin County is offering a $50 Visa gift card as supplies last to:

  • People 18 and older who gets a first dose, second dose, or booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine at any Hennepin County vaccine event or clinic
  • Parents/guardians of youth 5+ who get a first or second dose of COVID-19 vaccine at any Hennepin County vaccine event or clinic
  • Unaccompanied youth able to consent who get a first or second dose of COVID-19 vaccine at any Hennepin County vaccine event or clinic

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 questions, 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 stipends 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. Community organizations who have already received $3,000 in stipends can apply for a second stipend of up to $2,000 for additional vaccine incentives ($5,000 total per calendar year).

Community organizations can apply for a vaccine incentives grant at www.hennepin.us/community-vaccination.

COVID-19 vaccine incentives

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

Hennepin County is offering a $50 Visa gift card as supplies last to:

  • Everyone 18 and older who gets a first dose, second dose, or booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine at any Hennepin County vaccine event
  • Parents/guardians of youth 5+ 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

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.

View a list of upcoming vaccine events that are open to the public and register in the vaccination registration drawer on this page.

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 stipends 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. Community organizations who have already received $3,000 in stipends can apply for a second stipend of up to $2,000 for additional vaccine incentives ($5,000 total per calendar year).

Community organizations can apply for a vaccine incentives stipend at www.hennepin.us/community-registration.

Updated: November 18, 2021

Table of contents

Available vaccines

What vaccines are approved?

Three COVID-19 vaccines have been authorized for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA): Pfizer, Moderna, and Janssen (Johnson and Johnson). The Pfizer vaccine has received full FDA approval for people 16 and older.

The Pfizer vaccine is approved for people 5 and older. The Moderna and Johnson and Johnson vaccines are approved for people 18 and older.

Other COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers are in earlier stages of development and testing. Learn more about the approved vaccines on the Minnesota Department of Health vaccine FAQ

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How to get the vaccine

How do I get the vaccine with Hennepin County?

Hennepin County is currently offering vaccine appointments for people 12 and older. Pre-registration preferred. Walk-ins are available as supply allows.

Register for a vaccine with Hennepin County.

If you have questions about the vaccine or need help registering for a vaccine appointment, call 612-348-8900. Help is available in English, Spanish, Somali, and Hmong. 

Where else can I get the vaccine?

The Hennepin County Public Health Clinic is offering COVID-19 vaccinations to people 12+ during normal clinic hours. The clinic has the Moderna, Pfizer, and the Johnson and Johnson vaccines. Call 612-543-5555 to schedule an appointment. Walk-ins are accepted as supply allows.

Clinic address: 525 Portland Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55415

Clinic hours:

  • Monday to Wednesday: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Thursday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Friday: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

You can also use Minnesota’s COVID-19 Vaccine Connector tool to find out when, where, and how to get your COVID-19 vaccine. Additionally, you can get the vaccine by contacting your primary care provider.

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Eligibility and special considerations

Who is eligible to get the vaccine?

Currently all Minnesotans 5 and older are eligible to get the vaccine. Learn more about who is currently getting vaccinated on the state’s COVID-19 website.

I have recovered from a lab confirmed case of COVID-19. Should I still get vaccinated?

Yes, people who had COVID-19 should still get vaccinated. This is because COVID-19 is a new disease, so:

  • We do not know if or for how long after infection someone is protected from getting COVID-19 again (how long they are immune).
  • Evidence is emerging that people get better protection by being fully vaccinated compared with having had COVID-19.

Can I get vaccinated if I’m pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or breastfeeding?

The CDC strongly encourages vaccination for people who are pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.

Will the COVID-19 vaccine be required?

No one will be required to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. However, vaccination is highly encouraged because we know that these vaccines are very effective in preventing severe COVID-19 disease. Getting the vaccine will protect your health and help reduce the strain on the health care system.

How much does a COVID-19 vaccine cost?

The COVID-19 vaccine itself is free. (The federal government has pre-paid for doses for all Americans.) When it’s their turn, most people will get the vaccine through their primary health care provider. By law, healthcare systems and clinics are allowed to charge vaccine administration fees and/or clinic visit fees. These fees will likely be covered by your insurance. If you do not have insurance or cannot afford these fees, other opportunities for fully free COVID-19 vaccination (e.g., community vaccination events) are now available. Register for an appointment at hennepin.us/vaccineregistration

I want to get vaccinated but I’m undocumented. Could my immigration status become public?

Your status will never be made public. You are not required to provide immigration documentation to receive the vaccine and you will not be asked for them.

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Vaccine safety

How will we know that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective?

COVID-19 vaccine development requirements are the same as for all other vaccines. Experts from federal agencies, including the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), review the information collected during the vaccine manufacturers’ testing process to determine whether a vaccine is safe and effective. Experts continue tracking vaccine safety information once vaccines are given in real-life conditions to make sure they are working as expected.

Will I get COVID-19 from the vaccine?

No, there are no live viruses in the COVID-19 vaccines. Therefore, it is impossible to get COVID-19 from the vaccines. However, by getting vaccinated, you can protect yourself from getting a severe case of COVID-19.

Will the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccinations protect me from the new strain of COVID-19?

Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson continue to run tests but research shows all vaccines are effective against the new variants of COVID-19, including the Delta variant.

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Vaccine misconceptions

I’ve heard that there is pork and gelatin in the COVID-19 vaccines. Is this true?

No. There is no pork, gelatin, or other animal products in the COVID-19 vaccines. The COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective and can prevent you from getting a severe case of COVID-19.

I've heard that there are tracking devices in the COVID-19 vaccines. Is this true?

No. There are no tracking devices in the COVID-19 vaccines. The COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective and can prevent you from getting a severe case of COVID-19.

Can the COVID-19 vaccine affect your DNA?

The vaccines don't change your DNA. The Pfizer, Moderna and J&J vaccines deliver instructions (material) to our cells to start building protection against the virus. The material never enters the nucleus of the cell where our DNA is kept.

Can the COVID-19 vaccine affect your fertility?

A disinformation campaign has been circulating online, claiming that antibodies to the spike protein of COVID-19 produced from the COVID-19 vaccines will bind to placental proteins and prevent pregnancy.

While data clearly indicate pregnant women are at higher risk of hospitalization due to COVID-19 infection, there is no evidence of increased miscarriage rates.

During natural infection, the immune system generates the same antibodies to the spike protein that COVID-19 vaccines would. Thus, if COVID-19 affected fertility, there already would be an increase in miscarriage rates in women infected with COVID-19. This has not happened.

Read "COVID-19 vaccine myths debunked" from the Mayo Clinic Health System.

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After getting the vaccine

Are there any side effects from getting the vaccine?

The most common side effects from the COVID-19 vaccines are fatigue, headache, and muscle aches. These side effects are most likely to occur one or two days after getting the vaccine. Although most people will not have significant side effects, some people may wish to schedule their vaccination to allow for a day or two of rest afterward. Side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine are a sign that your immune system is working well.

Do I have to get two doses of vaccine?

Two doses are needed for the two COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna. The time between the doses depends on the vaccine you are getting. The Pfizer vaccine (ultra-cold vaccine) should be given 21 days (3 weeks) apart and the Moderna vaccine (frozen vaccine) should be given 28 days apart (1 month/4 weeks).

It is okay if you get the vaccine within four days of the 21 or 28 day mark (depending on which vaccine you get). If you are unable to get your second dose within the appropriate interval, get the second dose as soon as you can.

It is very important that someone gets both vaccine doses, and the same product for each dose. The vaccine is only fully effective with both doses of vaccine. If someone only gets one dose, they may not be protected (immune) against COVID-19. 

Will I still have to wear a mask and physically distance from others once I’ve received the COVID-19 vaccine?

If you are fully vaccinated, follow CDC guidelines for fully vaccinated people.

In general, people are considered fully vaccinated:

  • Two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
  • Two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine

Will I still need to get my flu shot if I get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes! The viruses that cause COVID-19 and flu are different. Benefits of flu vaccine include:

  • Flu vaccine prevents millions of illnesses and flu-related doctor’s visits each year
  • Flu vaccine prevents tens of thousands of hospitalizations each year
  • Getting a flu vaccine may also protect people around you who are at higher risk for serious flu illness, like babies and young children, older people, and people with certain health conditions

Do I need a booster dose or additional dose of vaccine once I’m fully vaccinated?

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Talking to your employees about the vaccine

Are the COVID-19 vaccines mandated?

No, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not mandate vaccination. Additionally, vaccination is not required or mandated in Minnesota.

Can I require my employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Neither the State of Minnesota nor Hennepin County can provide legal advice to either employers or employees. In December 2020, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission released guidance that generally speaks to whether employers can require an employee be vaccinated. Please visit the EEOC website at www.eeoc.gov for additional information and details.

How can I encourage my employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine?

  • Consider allowing employees to take paid leave to attend a vaccine appointment or clinic.
  • Share information promoting the vaccines with employees at meetings, postings in the breakroom or in other ways you typically communicate with employees (e.g., email, newsletters).
  • Make sure your employees know when, where, and how to get vaccinated.
  • Use these talking points, and other toolkit resources, to address concerns they might have around vaccination.

What if an employee has already had COVID-19? Should they still get vaccinated?

Yes. Both the virus that causes COVID-19 and the vaccine are new. We don’t yet know how long protection lasts for those who get infected or those who are vaccinated. COVID-19 vaccination should be offered to workers regardless of whether they already had COVID-19. Workers should not be required to have an antibody test before or after they are vaccinated.

What should I do if people call in sick with side effects after getting vaccinated?

Discomfort after vaccination from fever or pain at the injection site is normal and usually only lasts a day or two. You should encourage your employees to stay home and contact their healthcare provider if:

  • The redness or soreness at the injection site increases after 24 hours, or
  • Their side effects are worrying them or do not seem to be going away after a few days.

Should I stagger vaccination schedules for employees to avoid worker shortages due to vaccine side effects?

Data from vaccine trials show tell us that most side effects are mild and occur within three days after the vaccinations. Side effects generally resolve within a day or two. For the two-dose vaccinations — Pfizer and Moderna — side effects seem to be more common and pronounced following the second dose. Most employees who experience side effects will not feel ill enough to miss work.

Depending on the size of your workforce you may consider staggering schedules for employees who receive vaccination so that not everyone gets vaccinated on the same day. Staggered schedules might be especially important for the second dose when side-effect symptoms are more pronounced.

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Variants

  • There has been a rise of all variants in Minnesota
  • The predominant strain in Minnesota is the Alpha (B.1.1.7) variant
  • Minnesota is seeing a higher rate of severe disease (hospitalization) with the Delta (B1.617.2) variant
  • More than 99.9% of new cases, hospitalizations, and deaths, regardless of strain, are in unvaccinated Minnesotans
  • There is emerging evidence that all available COVID-19 vaccines provide protection against COVID-19 variants, including the Delta variant
  • If you’re eligible, get vaccinated as soon as you can

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More information

Where can I learn more about the COVID-19 vaccines?

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Information in other languages (Hennepin County) 

What you should know about COVID-19 vaccines (Minnesota Department of Health)

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Vaccine allocation

Each week, the Minnesota Department of Health determines the allocations of vaccine dosages for local public health agencies, including Hennepin County Public Health.

For more information on Minnesota’s phased vaccination plan, please visit the Minnesota Department of Health website.

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Register for a vaccine

Sign up on the Hennepin County vaccine registration site

Register to receive a vaccine.

  • You can also register through the State of Minnesota’s vaccine connector tool at vaccinconnector.mn.gov
  • Registering in the Hennepin County vaccine registration system does not make you ineligible for the state’s vaccine connector tool

COVID-19 vaccination navigation line

If you have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine or need help registering for a vaccine appointment, call 612-348-8900. Help is available in English, Spanish, Somali, and Hmong.

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Hennepin County vaccination statistics

Check out the Hennepin County COVID-19 public dashboard (slide 2) for vaccination data, including:

  • Cumulative vaccinations administered
  • Vaccines administered by week
  • Total people vaccinated by Hennepin County

Groups vaccinated

To date, we have offered vaccine appointments to people who reside inside and outside of Hennepin County. We have prioritized people who live in high social vulnerability index zip codes and communities who are disproportionality impacted by COVID-19.

State of Minnesota vaccination updates

For statewide vaccine data visit the Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 vaccine data dashboard.

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Hennepin County Public Health’s role

Hennepin County Public Health has been directed to prioritize vaccinating people and groups not covered by other vaccine providers (i.e., healthcare system or pharmacies). Our health department’s responsibilities and approach to vaccination are outlined below.

Our responsibilities

  • Working with system partners — like Hennepin Healthcare, the Minnesota Department of Health, and other local health departments — to support their ability to vaccinate
  • Providing vaccine to Hennepin County residents and visitors who do not have access to the vaccine elsewhere
  • Keeping Hennepin County residents, workers, and stakeholders informed of the vaccine distribution plan

Our approach

  • Lead with a race equity lens
  • Utilize data to assist in decision making
  • Communicate the importance of seeking vaccine through one’s healthcare provider
  • Improve access to vaccination and vaccine information
  • Deploy several vaccination events per week, increasing to meet demand as needed
  • Distribute the vaccine safely and quickly, ensuring that all doses are used

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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

Businesses

$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 aid businesses in COVID-19 recovery

  • Provide peer-to-peer business roundtables
  • Host critical topics series
  • Match businesses with specialized technical assistance and coaching

$25.3 million from the State of Minnesota’s COVID-19 relief grant

  • 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

  • Provide expanded safety net services due to COVID-19

Education

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

  • 100 tiny structures inside a warehouse building
  • Will provide individual living space for each resident
  • Connects residents with supportive services

$3.2 million to prevent the spread of COVID-19

  • Focusing on 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

$2.7 million in grants

  • Distributed to 75 community organizations as part of a long-term strategy to address food insecurity

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

Jobs

$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

Outreach

$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

  • Covers 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 for rental assistance

  • 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

Technology

$5.2 million in CARES funding to provide low-cost laptops

  • To youth, adults and seniors
  • Eligible to those participating in distance learning, pursuing employment, or accessing county services and telehealth options

Testing

$100,000 for long-term care facilities

  • Provide increased COVID-19 testing, follow-up services, and education

$1.9 million for tests

  • Purchase saliva test kits from Vault Health and Hennepin Healthcare
  • $425,000 to Hennepin Healthcare to increase testing

Voting

$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 absentee voting

  • Mailing absentee ballots
  • Hiring additional seasonal staff to support absentee voting in the general election

$1.2 million to support the election

  • Majority will be passed from Hennepin County 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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