COVID-19 response

Masks required in county buildings

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

If you need to come in person, you must wear a mask or face covering and stay 6 feet apart from others. Do not enter county buildings if you are sick.

See requirements when visiting county buildings

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Service updates

Hennepin County is reopening in phases to lessen transmission of COVID-19 within county facilities for resident and employee safety.

Cash and food

We are processing applications and responding to phone calls.

Other ways to submit documents: fax 612-288-2981. Or, to send childcare assistance documents, fax 612-288-2982.

In some cases, paperwork can wait until after the crisis. Some sites have drop boxes for urgent use:

  • Health Services Building, 525 Portland Avenue, Minneapolis, 55415
  • Northwest Family Service Center, 7051 Brooklyn Boulevard, Brooklyn Center, 55429
  • Wells Fargo Building, 1011 – 1st Street South, Hopkins, 55343

Renew cash assistance/SNAP

Renewal requirements for SNAP and cash assistance programs will resume in August for September renewal.

Complete, sign, and return the Combined Application Form (CAF) or 6-month Report, which you will receive in the mail. Send required proof of changes, with case number on each page.

Speak to a human services representative

You can get help via phone while Human Service Centers are closed to the public.

Call 612-596-1300, Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Elections and voting

Jail

  • Inmates are receiving a limited number of free phone calls each week so they may stay in touch with loved ones by phone.
  • Visiting hours are temporarily suspended in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Visit Hennepin County Jail

Libraries

Locations and hours: Find a library near you

Grab and Go service: Select locations are welcoming patrons into library buildings for short visits through a new Grab and Go service. Keep in mind, a visit to the library will look and feel different while the need for physical distancing continues.

Computer use by appointment: Many libraries can also accommodate computer use by appointment.

Licenses, permits and vital records

  • Some license and permit applications, and most vital records requests, are available by mail, fax or drop-off.
  • Drop-off is only to deliver your application or request.
  • No on-site processing is available at this time.
  • Find full service center information

Property

Homestead applications

Property tax payments

Tax payments are being processed. Pay property taxes online or through U.S. mail.

Recorder and registrar of titles

Recycling and hazardous waste disposal

Work continues with business hazardous waste licensing and renewal.

County business recycling staff are available remotely for businesses and organizations to improve their recycling programs. Find full information on remote technical assistance, including funding and training assistance.

Rent help

Residents financially harmed by COVID-19 may be eligible for emergency rental assistance.

Evictions and mediation

Get tested for COVID-19

COVID-19 community testing

Hennepin County works in collaboration with communities to provide safe and free COVID-19 community testing events in areas with outbreaks, increasing cases, or other barriers to access.

For additional community testing events in Minnesota, visit:

Upcoming Hennepin County events      

Friday, November 20

  • 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Brooklyn Park Islamic Center, 2100 93rd Way, Brooklyn Park, MN 55444
  • This is a walk-up event
  • No appointment needed; registration forms will be completed at the event prior to testing
  • Interpreters available

More about COVID-19 community testing

Who can get tested

  • Community testing is free, and you do not need insurance, identification, or citizenship.
  • If you have insurance, we will your bill insurance. There will be no patient responsibility to pay.
  • You can get tested if you have symptoms or if you don’t have symptoms but think you’ve been exposed to COVID-19.

What to bring

  • Wear a face mask. Face masks will be provided if you don’t have one.
  • If you pre-registered online, bring your confirmation text or email if you can. If you pre-completed a paper registration form, bring that form to the event.
  • You do not need to show insurance, identification, or citizenship information. However, insurance will be accepted if it’s available.

What to expect at an event

  • If you did not pre-register online or pre-complete a paper registration form, you will complete a registration form at the event.
  • You will need to provide your name and contact information so we can reach you with your test results.
  • Testing sites follow physical distancing and proper cleaning to keep you safe.
  • If this is a drive-up testing event, please stay in your car and follow all signs and staff directions in order to keep everyone safe.
  • If the event allows drive-up and walk-up appointments, walk-up appointments will be done in an area away from the vehicle lanes to keep you safe.
  • A health care worker will gently insert what looks like a long Q-tip into your nose and swirl it for a few seconds. It will then be removed, put in a vial, and sent to a lab for testing.

After you are tested

  • Follow these instructions: What to do while you are waiting for your results (PDF)
  • You should get your results back within three days. Sometimes there are delays.
  • You will get a text or email telling you how to view your test results when your results are ready.
  • If your test is positive: You will also receive a phone call from a nurse, health care worker or epidemiologist. Please make sure to answer your phone.
  • The results of your test are not shared with anyone outside of your public health department. 

Learn more about COVID-19

Cases and data

Helping school districts with COVID-19 planning

Hennepin County is large and diverse, with many school districts and varying demographics. The spread of COVID-19 varies across the county. We will look at county data and work with school districts and the state to help districts make safe and flexible plans for the school year.

Find up-to-date COVID-19 case data by county at the Minnesota Department of Health.

Learn more about the governor’s Safe Learning Plan.

County and state response 

Hennepin County Public Health is working closely with the Minnesota Department of Health and other partners to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak including:

  • Offering testing and wrap-around services
  • Conducting contact tracing
  • Advising residents on how to isolate and quarantine effectively
  • Fielding questions and communicating to the public
  • Consulting with partners on public health policy including masks

If you have symptoms

If you have COVID-19 symptoms or have been to a recent large gathering, it’s important to get tested.

Learn more about COVID-19 and staying safe

Information in other languages

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.

How the county is using federal COVID-19 funds

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.

Funding approved November 2

  • Designated $13.3 million to the purchase of a hotel and for conversion to 100 units of protective housing for people experiencing homelessness who are at high risk of COVID-19 complications due to age or underlying medical conditions
  • $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)
  • $1.1 million to support low-barrier housing program operated by the American Indian Community Development Corporation
  • $1 million to provide staffing at hotel sites for people experiencing homelessness that are at high risk of COVID-19 complications
  • $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
  • $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

Items below include CARES-funded response efforts since March 2020.

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 

Community organizations

$2.5 million to support non-profit and community organizations providing 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

$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 $6.3 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

$200,000 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

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

Food security

$2 million to food banks and other organizations

  • $7,000 to $50,000 per organization to provide perishable and non-perishable food, including culturally appropriate food

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 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

Technology

$1 million to distribute low-cost laptops to youth, seniors, and others impacted by COVID-19

$700,000 to provide broadband access, digital literacy services, and technology support for youth, seniors, and other individuals impacted by COVID-19

Testing

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

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 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

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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