COVID-19 Updates

September 24, 2020

  • This week, Mayor Carter signed Executive Order 2020-27, extending the temporary permission, with some additional requirements, to business owners to facilitate commercial uses of outdoor space to serve customers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • The new order allows sidewalk café and liquor outdoor service areas to operate in the public right-of-way, while seeking to ensure that the business's furnishings are removed from the public right of way once the snow season begins.
    • The executive order covers restaurants, bars, brew-on-premise, general retail and other businesses that have operated sidewalk cafes or served outdoors in the public right-of-way through issuance of a Temporary C-19 Sidewalk Café Permit.
  • Starting tonight, Thursday, Sept. 24, Ramsey County will begin overnight paving on Larpenteur Avenue between Dale Street and I-35E in Saint Paul from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. Work on the project is expected to last through late September. Learn more at ramseycounty.us.
  • Ramsey County is hosting a Food Security & Basic Needs Community Conversation on Sept. 28, 4:30-5:30 p.m. The conversation will include an update on the county’s work to address the priority areas identified this spring through community engagement, including investing CARES funding in food and basic needs through RISE programs and contracts.
  • Ramsey County has created a COVID-19 Business Recovery Guide. The new guide consolidates resources to help ready and recover your business and workforce from the impacts of COVID-19.
  • The Twin Cities Electric Vehicle Mobility Network (TCEVMN) has been awarded $6.7 million by the U.S Department of Energy (DOE) as part of its Advanced Innovative Vehicle Technologies program. The TCEVMN, led by the City of Saint Paul in partnership with the City of Minneapolis, Xcel Energy, HOURCAR, and East Metro Strong, will build 70 charging hubs in the two cities, primarily in the public right-of-way. These hubs, powered by renewable energy, will provide public charging for electric vehicles and will also host a new, one-way electric vehicle carsharing service operated by local non-profit HOURCAR. The award was the third-largest in the DOE’s $139 million announcement and will be administered by the Lung Association.

September 21, 2020

  • Saint Paul - Ramsey County Public Health and the Minnesota Department of Health, in partnership with local community organizations, are offering free COVID-19 testing this week in Saint Paul.
    • Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2-6 p.m. at the Consulate of Mexico (797 E 7th St).
    • Thursday, Sept. 24 and Friday, Sept. 25, 2 - 6 p.m. at the Mt. Olivet Baptist Church (451 Central Ave W).
    • Visit ramseycounty.us/testingsites for updates and registration links. If you are not able to sign up online, or need an interpreter, call 1-855-612-0677. Interpreters will also be available onsite.
    • Community testing is free, does not require insurance, and is open to everyone, symptoms or no symptoms. No ID is required and registration is strongly recommended to reduce wait times.
  • The Minnesota Department of Health encourages Minnesotans to get their seasonal flu shot. Many people who are more likely to get sick from COVID-19 are also more likely to get sick from the seasonal flu. Older adults, pregnant woman, and people with chronic health conditions should make sure they get a seasonal flu vaccine. Learn more at mdhflu.com.
  • The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is conducting a random, voluntary, in-person survey to understand the effect COVID-19 is having on Minnesota communities. The survey is called a modified Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response, or CASPER survey. If your household is randomly selected and you are contacted by MDH, please consider participating.
  • If you don’t usually file a tax return and you have not received your federal Economic Impact Payment as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) may not have enough information to determine your eligibility. You can submit your information online by Oct. 15 using the IRS Non-Filers tool.
  • Today, the cities of Saint Paul and Minneapolis honor the life and legacy of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg by declaring Monday, Sept. 21, Ruth Bader Ginsburg Day in the City of Saint Paul and the City of Minneapolis.
  • Absentee voting for the Nov. 3 general election started on Friday, Sept. 18. You can vote absentee by mail or in person. All voters can vote absentee in Minnesota. You do not need to provide a reason. Find more information about voting in Ramsey County:
  • Respond to the 2020 Census by Sept. 30. Respond online at 2020Census.gov, by phone at 844-330-2020, or by completing and mailing back the paper questionnaire. The results of the 2020 Census will help determine how federal resources flow into our community every year for the next decade. To make sure that Saint Paul can access these resources, we need to make sure everyone is counted.
  • The City of Saint Paul will host a grand opening celebration for the new field amenities at Frogtown Community Center tomorrow, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 4:30-5:30 p.m. All are welcome try out the new artificial turf football/soccer/baseball/lacrosse field, basketball court, volleyball court, Kato court, and playground after the ribbon cutting ceremony. Attendees are asked to abide by all public health guidelines, including wearing face masks.
  • Starting this week, all library locations, with the exception of Hamline Midway and Dayton's Bluff, will reopen with Library Express service. The library invites you inside to find books, DVDs, and music to check out and use copy/fax/scan and express print services. For hours and more information, please visit sppl.org/LibraryExpress.
  • Youth winter basketball registration opens today, Monday, Sept. 21. Register early and save. Programs offered may require modifications based on future guidance from the MSHSL and Minnesota Department of Health. For more information, visit the youth winter basketball website.

September 17, 2020

  • State of Minnesota launches 4-week push to increase access to “no barrier” COVID-19 testing. Responding to increased levels of community spread of COVID-19 statewide, state health officials will work with local health officials and other community partners to offer free COVID-19 testing in multiple communities each week, with four to six separate community testing events spread throughout the state each week. Testing will be free, available to anyone who feels they need to be tested whether they have symptoms or not, and will not require insurance.
  • Saint Paul – Ramsey County Public Health, in partnership with local community organizations, will offer free COVID-19 testing on Sept. 23, 2-6 p.m. at the Consulate of Mexico (797 E 7th St). Visit ramseycounty.us/testingsites for updates and registration links.
    • Registration recommended
    • Free, no insurance needed
    • Symptoms or no symptoms
    • Individuals can receive their test drive-thru or walk-up
    • No ID required
    • Interpreters available onsite
  • The deadline to apply for Physical Disaster Loans from the Small Business Administration (SBA) for damage caused by civil unrest on May 27 through June 8, 2020 is October 2, 2020.
    • SBA has opened a Virtual Disaster Loan Outreach Center (VDLOC) to help survivors apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via the SBA’s secure website and there are virtual customer support representatives available to assist applicants with completing the online application, Monday-Sunday, 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.
    • Business owners and residents should contact the SBA Customer Service Representatives at (800) 659-2955 to schedule an appointment for immediate one-on-one assistance in completing their applications. Requests for SBA disaster loan program information may be obtained by emailing FOCE-Help@sba.gov.
  • Saint Paul Public Schools has free meal boxes available for all Saint Paul kids 18 and under, and those with a disability enrolled in a school program, through the end of the year. Meal boxes are available for weekly home delivery or can be picked up at five high schools, Monday-Friday. For more information, including delivery registration and school pickup locations, please visit spps.org/fallmeals.
  • Cultural STAR is offering one-time emergency assistance to Saint Paul arts and cultural organizations. Learn more at an online info session tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. Learn more at stpaul.gov/Cultural-Star-2020.
  • Today, Saint Paul Mayor Melvin Carter and Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey highlighted new research for Minneapolis and Saint Paul from New American Economy (NAE). The results underscore how immigrants are both essential to the Twin Cities’ COVID rapid response efforts and have been made especially vulnerable due to gaps in federal relief packages, language access barriers, and increased risks of infection associated with frontline and essential work.
  • Earlier today, the City of Saint Paul Refugee and Immigrant Program, City of Minneapolis Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs, and the International Institute of Minnesota presented a workshop on Facebook Live on the Benefits of Naturalization in celebration of Citizenship Day. This event is part of Welcoming Week, a national celebration that brings together immigrants, refugees, and long-time residents in person and online in a spirit of unity to build strong connections across the community and affirm the benefits of welcoming everyone—including newcomers. Stay tuned all week for information and resources from the City and our partners on social media.

September 14, 2020

  • Thursday, Sept. 17 is Citizenship Day, the 233rd anniversary of the signing of the United States Constitution and a day where we reflect upon the meaning and importance of U.S. citizenship. Join us from 10 - 11 a.m. on Facebook Live for a discussion on the benefits of becoming a citizen of the United States through the process of naturalization, presented by the City of Saint Paul Refugee and Immigrant Program, City of Minneapolis Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs, and the International Institute of Minnesota. This event is part of Welcoming Week, a national celebration that brings together immigrants, refugees, and long-time residents in person and online in a spirit of unity to build strong connections across the community and affirm the benefits of welcoming everyone—including newcomers. Stay tuned all week for information and resources from the City and our partners on social media.
  • Saint Paul Parks and Recreation's free Rec Check after school program for youth in grades 1-5 kicks off this today, Sept. 14! Some locations still have space available. Staff to participant ratio will be no more than 1:14 and public health guidelines will be in place. Visit the Rec Check webpage for full details and to register online.
  • Join us on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 4:30 - 5:30 p.m. for the grand opening of the all-new amenities outside Frogtown Community Center. All are welcome try out the new artificial turf football/soccer field, basketball court, volleyball court, Kato court, and playground after the ribbon cutting ceremony. Attendees are asked to abide by all public health guidelines, including wearing cloth face masks.
  • The Saint Paul City Council invites the community to view Council meetings online amid COVID-19 pandemic. Members of the public may view City Council meetings online at stpaul.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx or on local cable Channel 18. o The public may comment on public hearing items in writing or via voicemail. Any comments and materials submitted by noon of the day before the meeting will be attached to the public record and available for review by the City Council. o Written public comment on public hearing items can be submitted to Contact-Council@ci.stpaul.mn.us, CouncilHearing@ci.stpaul.mn.us, or by voicemail at 651-266-6805.
  • UCare, Hennepin Healthcare, and KARE 11 are sponsoring a drive-thru flu shot clinic at the Minnesota State Fair Grounds Sept. 25 - 27, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Drive-thru flu vaccination provides you and your family members – ages six months and older – a safe and convenient way to get a flu shot this season. All participants will remain in their vehicles. Participants are required to wear a mask. A homemade mask is acceptable. Insurance information will be collected.

September 10, 2020

  • It’s not too late to fill out the 2020 Census! Watch Saint Paul City Council members' urgent message about completing the Census. Respond online at 2020Census.gov, by phone at 844-330-2020, or by completing and mailing back the paper questionnaire. Respond no later than Sept. 30. The results of the 2020 Census will help determine how federal resources flow into our community every year for the next decade. To make sure that Saint Paul can access these resources, we need to make sure everyone is counted.
  • Compliance teams from the Minnesota Departments of Public Safety (DPS), Health (MDH), Labor and Industry (DLI), and Agriculture (MDA) visited more than 150 bars and restaurants in several communities over the past two weekends. During those visits, officials say most bars and restaurants are working to comply with COVID-19 executive orders and required guidance designed to reduce the spread of the disease and keep Minnesotans safe.
  • The community is invited to RSVP online for the 2020 Saint Paul Police Civilian Internal Affairs Review Commission (“PCIARC”) Annual Summit on Sept. 30, 6 - 8:30 p.m.. The PCIARC makes disciplinary and policy recommendations to the Saint Paul Chief of Police on civilian initiated police conduct complaints. The PCIARC Annual Summit gives community members a chance to meet PCIARC Commissioners, learn about the complaint process, hear about the work of the PCIARC over the last year, and the plans for the future.
  • Cultural STAR Applications are now open and are due on Friday, Oct. 2 at 4 p.m. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Cultural STAR is providing general operations grants to Saint Paul-based arts or cultural organizations. This is intended to be a one-time emergency relief program and does not reflect a permanent change to Cultural STAR.
    • Please note: 2020 Round one has been canceled, and filed applications will not be considered for capital or special project funding. 2020 Round one applicants will need to fill out a 2020 General Operating application to be considered.
    • New eligibility and guidelines apply. Learn more at stpaul.gov/Cultural-Star-2020.
  • UCare, Hennepin Healthcare, and KARE 11 are sponsoring a drive-thru flu shot clinic at the Minnesota State Fair Grounds Sept. 25 - 27, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Drive-thru flu vaccination provides you and your family members – ages six months and older – a safe and convenient way to get a flu shot this season. All participants will remain in their vehicles. Participants are required to wear a mask. A homemade mask is acceptable. Insurance information will be collected.
  • September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. If you or someone you know is in crisis call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), Text MN to 741741, or visit mn.gov/dhs/crisis to find a crisis provider.
  • Metro Transit will expand bus and light rail service this weekend. On Saturday, Sept. 12, many local bus routes, the METRO A Line and the METRO C Line will have about as much service as they did before the COVID-19 pandemic. The METRO Blue Line and METRO Green Line will offer 10-minute service throughout most of the day.

September 3, 2020

  • Today, Mayor Melvin Carter signed Executive Order 2020-24 authorizing the creation of the People’s Prosperity Pilot, Saint Paul’s Guaranteed Income Demonstration Program. Led by the Office of Financial Empowerment, the People’s Prosperity Pilot will provide up to 150 Saint Paul families with $500 per month in guaranteed income for a period of up to 18 months. The projected budget of up to $1.5 million will be supported through the Mayors For Guaranteed Income national network, philanthropy and City of Saint Paul CARES funds. Households will be randomly selected from CollegeBound Saint Paul families from the city’s most racially diverse and lowest wealth neighborhoods. The first cash payments to participants are expected to start this fall.
  • Small Business Administration Extends Hours of Virtual Loan Outreach Center. The U.S. Small Business Administration announced Monday that the hours of operations for its Virtual Disaster Loan Outreach Center/Business Recovery Center (VDLOC/VBRC) in Minnesota are now 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Eastern Time, seven days a week, for businesses and residences in the declared disaster area affected by civil unrest on May 27 through June 8, 2020. Contact the Disaster Assistance Professionals at (800) 659-2955 to schedule an appointment for immediate one-on-one assistance in completing the applications. Requests for SBA disaster loan program information may be obtained by emailing FOCE-Help@sba.gov.
  • Saint Paul Public Schools will not deliver meals to families on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 7. Families who normally receive meals on Mondays will get them on Thursday or Friday, Sept. 3-4.
  • Minnesota departments of Education and Human Services announce the availability of free saliva testing for school and child care staff. The Minnesota Department of Education and Department of Human Services have started the process of distributing thousands of unique testing codes to school districts, charter schools, tribal schools, non-public schools, licensed child care settings and certified centers. These codes allow Minnesota educators and care providers to receive one free saliva test through the end of the year. Visit Safe Learning Plan for the 2020-21 School Year for more information.
  • Unemployment insurance is now accepted as certification by MetroTransit's Transit Assistance Program (TAP). The Transit Assistance Program (TAP) provides a reduced fare pass on a Go-To Card for low-income residents. It allows customers to use a bus or train for just $1 per ride – even during rush hour – with a 2½ hour transfer.
  • The Minnesota Department of Transportation is seeking feedback from the community on future improvements along Robert St. The project is tentatively scheduled to occur in 2025 or 2026. The online survey is available in English, Somali, or Spanish.
  • Weigh in on future plans for the Bruce Vento Regional Trail, a highly popular multi-use trail corridor for Ramsey County residents. The draft master plan is available to review and provide feedback on through Sept. 30. Find the draft master plan at RamseyCounty.us/BruceVento.
  • September is National Preparedness Month. Take action now and save time when a disaster happens. Set aside some time to create an emergency kit, make an emergency plan, get informed and get involved in helping your friends and neighbors prepare.

August 31, 2020

  • Ramsey County residents can now apply for TechPak, a new initiative bringing computers, internet and digital literacy training into the homes of residents who have experienced economic impacts due to COVID-19. COVID-19 impacted residents can apply during open enrollment periods. Entries are accepted online or by calling 651-266-6002 through Sept. 2 for the current enrollment period. This program is presented in partnership with Tech Dump, Literacy Minnesota, Saint Paul Public Library and Ramsey County.
  • Phalen Park Beach will be open from 12 - 8 p.m. through Labor Day, with lifeguards on duty. If weather and health guidelines allow, the beach and splash pad will also be open on the weekends of Sept. 12-13 and 19-20. Splash pads are open from 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. The last day of operation for the Lewis Park, Conway Park, and Parque Castillo splash pads will be Tuesday, Sept. 8.
  • Executive Order 2020-20, signed by Mayor Melvin Carter on Aug. 14, extends the temporary permission to business owners to maximize their outdoor space to serve customers during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you wish to extend your business to adjacent private or public property, or have questions about the Order, please call 651-266-8989.
  • Saint Paul continues to have one of the highest Census self-response rates in the country at 73%. Help us ensure everyone is counted in our community ahead of the Sept. 30 deadline. Households can still respond now by completing and mailing back the paper questionnaire they received, by responding online at 2020census.gov, or by phone at 844-330-2020. If you haven't completed your 2020 Census, U.S. Census Bureau interviewers will be visiting your household to complete the survey. All people residing in the United States, regardless of immigration status, should be counted.

August 27, 2020

  • Mayor Melvin Carter will deliver his 2021 Library Budget Address tomorrow, Friday, August 28 at 1 p.m. The address will be held virtually and streamed online on the Saint Paul Public Library Facebook page at facebook.com/stpaulpubliclibrary/. More information about Mayor Carter’s 2021 city budget proposal is available at stpaul.gov/2021-budget-proposal and on Open Budget Saint Paul at budget.stpaul.gov.
  • The COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program is now accepting applications. The COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program officially launched earlier this week, making $100 million available to help prevent eviction, prevent homelessness, and maintain housing stability for eligible renters and homeowners. The program is designed to cover expenses such as rent, mortgage, utilities or other housing-related expenses that were incurred after March 1, 2020 and are past due. Minnesotans interested in applying and learning more about the program can begin the application process by calling Greater Twin Cities United Way’s 211 Resource Helpline (Toll Free: 1.800.543.7709; Local: 651.291.0211), visiting 211unitedway.org online, or texting “MNRENT” or “MNHOME” to 898-211.) The 211 helpline has dedicated multilingual staff available to answer questions about the COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.
  • Yesterday, Governor Tim Walz signed Executive Orders 20-85, which formalize Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) guidance regarding the total classroom occupancy allowed in higher education settings and allow cooperatives to waive in-person meeting requirements. Executive Order 20-85 formalizes previous guidance that gives higher education institutions flexibility to hold in-person classes or activities consistent with other industries. The Executive Order continues to require higher education institutions to create and implement a plan to conduct classes and activities in a manner that adheres to Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Standards and MDH and CDC Guidelines related to COVID-19. Executive Order 20-86 allows cooperatives and cooperative associations flexibility to waive in-person meeting requirements, vote remotely for director elections, and forgo annual regular member meetings if a virtual meeting is not feasible. This Executive Order is in keeping with public health guidance encouraging Minnesotans to avoid large gatherings.
  • Free masks available for Ramsey County at Aug. 29 A Mask for Everyone event. Ramsey County residents and families in need of face masks can pick up free cloth masks at the A Mask for Everyone pickup event on Saturday, Aug. 29. The event will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Oxford Community Center parking lot. Please enter from the Iglehart Avenue and Oxford Street entrance. The event will be set up for drive through distribution to limit interactions. Individuals and families who previously submitted a request for a mask and received a confirmation from the county will be able to pick up their reserved masks. Adult size masks will also be available on a first-come, first-served basis to people who haven't already submitted a request. Free food will be available for pick up provided by Mt. Olivet Baptist Church and Hallie Q. Brown Community Center.

August 24, 2020

  • Last week, Mayor Carter issued Executive Order 2020-22, which extends the Saint Paul skyway system’s reduced hours of operation, from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., through Aug. 31. Beginning on Sept. 1, the skyway system will be allowed to to operate from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. The order will remain in effect for 40 days or until the end of the declared local emergency. To reduce skyway hours within their buildings, property owners must post signage noting the new temporary operating hours of that section of the skyway. For information, call 651-266-8989 or email DSI-InformationAndComplaints@ci.stpaul.mn.us.
  • Saint Paul Parks and Recreation will be offering S'more Fun, Recreation for Preschoolers, and Rec Check youth programs this fall, with CDC and Minnesota Department of Health guidelines in place.
  • The Families First Housing Pilot provides Saint Paul families a $300 monthly rent supplement and ongoing supportive services for three years, in partnership with the Saint Paul Public Schools. To learn more about the program and eligibility, visit stpaul.gov/FamiliesFirst.
  • Metro Transit will expand bus and light rail service starting in September. On Saturday, Sept. 12, many local bus routes, the METRO A Line and the METRO C Line will have about as much service as they did before the COVID-19 pandemic. The METRO Blue Line and METRO Green Line will offer 10-minute service throughout most of the day.
  • Ramsey/Washington Recycling & Energy has allocated funding to support small businesses that are facing financial hardship as the result of COVID-19, recent civil unrest or the economic downturn. One-time grants of up to $10,000 will be awarded to eligible businesses for operational expenses related to managing waste and recycling effectively.

August 20, 2020

  • Today, Mayor Melvin Carter announced his 2021 City Budget Proposal. The proposed budget totals $627 million, and includes no property tax levy increase, no city staff layoffs, and no use of emergency reserves. Information about the Mayor's 2021 proposal is available at stpaul.gov/2021-budget-proposal
  • DEADLINE TOMORROW: Applications for Ramsey County's emergency assistance to small local businesses adversely impacted by the COVID-19 will close at 5 p.m. tomorrow, Friday, Aug. 21. Funds will help businesses pay for critical expenses such as rent or mortgage payments, utilities, payments to suppliers and costs associated with reopening. Learn more at ramseycountymeansbusiness.com/relief-fund.
  • The 5th annual Central Honors Philando will be presented virtually this year on Sunday, Aug. 23, 3-4:30 p.m. on Facebook Live. The annual event brings community together to honor Philando Castile, share resources, and raise money for the Philando Castile Memorial Scholarship. This year's event will include a virtual concert hosted by The Current. It's free to attend, and no registration required. Simply join the Facebook Live event as we come together to honor Philando Castile.
  • Free drive-in food distribution event next week. The Sanneh Foundation, Second Harvest Heartland, Southeast Community Organization, and the Ramsey County Sheriff's office are hosting a free food distribution event on Wednesday, Aug. 26 at Grace Lutheran Church (1730 Old Hudson Rd). Volunteers will be available to load items into your vehicle. The first 700 cars will receive three boxes of fresh food, including produce, dairy, and meat. For more information, call 651-578-7600.
  • In partnership with the City, Ramsey County is working to define a community-driven vision for Rice Street between Pennsylvania Avenue and Wheelock Parkway. Rice Street is a hub of activity in Saint Paul and serves a diverse mix of residents, travelers, visitors, businesses and modes of travel. The existing aging roadway has safety and traffic concerns, and needs surrounding community development, business vitality, bike and pedestrian connections, public safety, livability and compatible land uses in the corridor. Complete a short survey to tell us which elements you'd like to see on Rice Street.
  • New murals were unveiled yesterday in the Council Chambers of Saint Paul City Hall and Ramsey County Courthouse. In December 2018, Ramsey County and the City launched a project to create contemporary community-based artworks for exhibition in the chambers. Ramsey County Historical Society established a community task force to select four local artists to create original artwork and associated interpretive materials. In August 2020, City and County elected officials accepted the task force recommendations to exhibit the selected artworks as the introduction of a public art program at the building.

August 17, 2020

  • Mayor Carter has extended executive orders 2020-9 and 2020-10. The executive orders have been extended for an additional 40 days, effective Aug. 14, or until the end of the declared local emergency. Executive Order 2020-9 requires masks be worn at all city-controlled property and all city-licensed businesses. Executive Order 2020-10 includes a set of business license measures that support restaurants and bars in maximizing their ability to leverage surrounding spaces for outdoor patio seating as allowed by the Stay Safe MN plan.
  • All Saint Paul Public Schools students will start the 2020-21 school year in distance learning. Every student will receive an iPad and other tools to make distance learning a success. If you have questions or want to enroll a new student, please visit apply.spps.org or call 651-632-3760. The first day of school is Tuesday, Sept. 8. For more information, visit spps.org/reopen2020.
  • Watch this video to learn more about Saint Paul Parks and Recreation's open amenities, health and safety reminders for visiting your local parks, and virtual programming highlights. As we move towards the start of another school year, the City remains committed to working with Saint Paul Public Schools and our community partners to ensure our students have access to quality out-of-school-time resources.
  • Newly redesigned Ramsey County Service Centers open with in-person assistance, technology resources. Five redesigned Ramsey County Service Centers – including locations in downtown Saint Paul and on the west side – are now open to provide more convenient and accessible access to programs for residents. The centers feature Navigators who provide comprehensive in-person assistance with enrollment information connections to county programs. Service Centers also have computer workstations available by reservation and secure 24/7 document drop boxes. All Service Centers are open from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. weekdays and are designed and operated in accordance with Public Health guidelines for COVID-19. Learn more at ramseycounty.us/ServiceCenters.
  • The U.S. Census Bureau has announced that it will begin following up with households in Saint Paul that have not yet responded to the 2020 Census. Households can still respond now by completing and mailing back the paper questionnaire they received, by responding online at 2020census.gov, or by phone at 844-330-2020.
    • The Census Bureau will provide face masks to census takers and requires that census takers wear a mask while conducting their work. They will follow CDC and local public health guidelines when they visit.
    • Census takers are hired from our community. All census takers speak English, and many are bilingual. If a census taker does not speak your householder’s language, you may request a return visit from a census taker who does.
    • If no one is home when the census taker visits, they will leave a notice of their visit with information about how to respond online, by phone or by mail.
    • Census takers can be easily identified by a valid government ID badge with their photograph, a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark, and an expiration date on the badge. To confirm a census taker’s identity, the public may contact their regional census center to speak with a Census Bureau representative.

August 13, 2020

  • Mayor Melvin Carter will deliver his 2021 Budget Address on Thursday, August 20 at 11 a.m. The address will be held virtually and will be broadcast on the City of Saint Paul's HD cable channels Comcast 859 and CenturyLink 1234, and streamed online on the City's Facebook page at facebook.com/cityofsaintpaul. For more information about the City of Saint Paul’s budget, visit Open Budget Saint Paul online at budget.stpaul.gov.
  • Donate or request a mask through Ramsey County’s A Mask for Everyone program. A new initiative – A Mask for Everyone – is underway to ensure that individuals and families have access to cloth face masks to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Led by Ramsey County’s COVID-19 Racial Equity and Community Engagement Response Team the program will prioritize distributing homemade cloth masks to racially, ethnically and culturally diverse communities. Request or donate a mask.
  • Ramsey County launches free home meal delivery for people impacted by COVID-19. A new home meal delivery program is available for Ramsey County residents who have been adversely impacted by COVID-19 and are challenged to leave their homes. Five community partners have been selected to provide healthy home-delivered meals to qualifying residents free of charge. Meal options include medically-tailored, vegetarian, culturally-specific and Halal-only meals.
  • Deadline extended for Ramsey County's emergency assistance to small local businesses adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications will now close at 5 p.m. on Friday, August 21. Funds will help businesses pay for critical expenses such as rent or mortgage payments, utilities, payments to suppliers and costs associated with reopening. Learn more at ramseycountymeansbusiness.com/relief-fund.
  • Visit Saint Paul has launched the Ready Together Pledge: Saint Paul’s Commitment to Cleanliness and Safety. Saint Paul businesses are encouraged to sign the voluntary pledge and commit to follow federal, state, and local health and safety guidelines for proper reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic. Once signed, businesses will receive a window decal as well as a customizable signage toolkit to demonstrate their commitment to the Ready Together pledge. Learn more and sign up for the pledge at visitsaintpaul.com.
  • The City is seeking members for the new Tenant Protections Implementation Committee (TPIC). Last month, the City passed its fair housing policy agenda, S.A.F.E. Housing Saint Paul. The new protections, which go into effect on March 1, 2021, include a set of policies that are geared at increasing housing access, decreasing housing displacement, and affirmatively furthering fair housing. In advance of the effective date, the City will convene an implementation committee that reflects the diversity of Saint Paul to support policy education, outreach and engagement across stakeholder groups. Members should live, work, attend school or provide services in Saint Paul. Applications are due by August 24 at 5 p.m.

August 10, 2020

  • The Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce Charitable Foundation is raising money to provide direct support to small businesses and nonprofits to help them rebuild their storefronts, reopen their businesses and serve our community. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation today.
  • Applications are closing next week for Ramsey County's emergency assistance to small local businesses adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Funds will help businesses pay for critical expenses such as rent or mortgage payments, utilities, payments to suppliers and costs associated with reopening. Applications will close at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 18. Learn more at ramseycountymeansbusiness.com/relief-fund.
  • Saint Paul – Ramsey County Public Health is offering free COVID-19 testing on Sunday, August 16, 23 and 30 from 2-6 p.m. Free drive-thru and walk-up testing will be offered at Washington Technology Magnet School (1495 Rice Street), and is open to everyone, symptoms or no symptoms. Insurance is not required. Pre-registration is recommended, but not required. Interpreters are available onsite.

August 7, 2020

  • Yesterday, Governor Tim Walz announced that Minnesota businesses that sustained extensive property damage in the civil unrest following the death of George Floyd are now able to apply for disaster assistance through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The SBA’s Business Physical Disaster Loan program provides businesses of all sizes with working capital loans of up to $2 million to help property owners repair and replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets. Businesses in the affected areas of Hennepin, Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Ramsey, Scott, Sherburne and Wright county may apply for a loan at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/.
  • The deadline to apply for the Small Business Administration's (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program is this Saturday, Aug. 8. Connect with a Community Development Financial Institution, Minority Depository Institution, Certified Development Company, or other types of lenders using SBA's Lender Match tool.
  • Ramsey County is providing emergency assistance to small local businesses adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Funds will help businesses pay for critical expenses such as rent or mortgage payments, utilities, payments to suppliers and costs associated with reopening. Applications will close at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 18. Learn more at ramseycountymeansbusiness.com/relief-fund.
  • Saint Paul – Ramsey County Public Health is offering free COVID-19 testing on Sunday, August 9, 16, 23 and 30 from 2-6 p.m. Free drive-thru and walk-up testing will be offered at Washington Technology Magnet School (1495 Rice Street), and is open to everyone, symptoms or no symptoms. Insurance is not required. Pre-registration is recommended, but not required. Interpreters are available onsite.

August 3, 2020

  • To ease the burden on Minnesotans who may be unable to afford a mask or easily obtain one, the State is partnering with organizations to distribute more than 300,000 reusable, cloth masks. Masks are being distributed across the state to community organizations, food banks, area agencies on aging, and affordable housing providers. Find a location closest to you.
  • In partnership with the City of Saint Paul, Ramsey County launched six new community career labs to support COVID-19 job seekers earlier today. Career Labs provide services for COVID-19 impacted job seekers by reservation. All sites accord with Public Health guidelines for COVID-19. Learn more at ramseycounty.us/careerlabs and call 651-793-1699 make a reservation today. Participating locations in Saint Paul include:
    • Dayton's Bluff Library (645 E. 7th St.)
    • Rice Street Library (1011 Rice St.)
    • Rondo Community Library (461 N. Dale St.)
    • Sun Ray Library (2105 Wilson Ave.)
  • The Minnesota Department of Education has issued Guidance for Families – Planning for the 2020-21 School Year (in Karen, English, Hmong, Somali, and Spanish). As Minnesota school districts and charter schools plan for the 2020-21 school year, so are Minnesota families. This document will give families a quick overview of the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) guidance for schools and so families know what information they should expect from their child’s school.

July 31, 2020

  • Yesterday, Governor Walz, along with the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), announced Minnesota’s Safe Learning Plan for the 2020-21 School Year. School districts and charter schools will begin in one of three models: in-person, distance learning, or a hybrid model.
    • Experts at the Departments of Health and Education will partner with local school districts and charter schools to help determine which learning model they should use to start the school year. The decision-making process centers on the health, safety, and wellbeing of students, staff, and families by using the level of viral activity in the surrounding county and other factors such as the district’s ability to meet mitigation requirements. The learning model decision will be announced by the local school district.
    • The leading recommendation is that Saint Paul Public Schools will plan to start the school year in distance learning for all students. Find the latest information about Saint Paul Public Schools' planning for the 2020-2021 school year at spps.org/reopen2020.
  • Beginning Saturday, August 1 through November 2020, Ayd Mill Road from I-35E to Selby Avenue will be closed in both directions for construction work. Please plan accordingly. Find more project information at stpaul.gov/aydmillroad.
  • Renter's Rights during COVID-19. The City is committed to ensuring every Saint Paul resident has fair housing, especially during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Residents can access renters' rights frequently asked questions or contact the Department of Human Rights and Equal Economic Opportunity (HREEO) if they have questions about their rental rights or believe they have been discriminated against. More information is available at www.stpaul.gov/humanrights.
  • If you need help paying for rent, mortgage or utilities, contact Ramsey County for more information about Emergency Assistance and Emergency General Assistance. Emergency Assistance (EA) helps adults with children, and pregnant women. Emergency General Assistance (EGA) helps adults without children.EA and EGA help with shelter expenses, such as past due rent/mortgage or a damage deposit. EA and EGA also help pay for utilities, including electricity, heat and water, when there is threat of disconnection.
  • Return your vote by mail ballot for the Aug. 11 primary. Ramsey County voters may vote early by using an absentee ballot in advance of the state primary on Tuesday, Aug. 11. All voters can vote early in Minnesota. You do not need to provide a reason. If you've already received your absentee ballot in the mail, make sure to mail your completed ballot back now. Learn more at ramseycounty.us/VoteByMail.

July 29, 2020

  • The Dislocated Worker program can help people who have lost their job, through no fault of their own, return to work. Eligible people may qualify for: individual career planning and counseling; connection with employers who are hiring now; connection to education resources; and more. Visit CareerForceMN.com/dislocated-worker to learn more.
  • Please plan for major construction around the airport, including the following ramp closures beginning in early August:
    • The ramp from Highway 5 west to I-494 east will close at 5 a.m. Monday, Aug. 3 through October.
    • The ramp from I-494 west to 34th Avenue will close at 5 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 5 through October.
    • The ramp from Highway 5 west to 34th Avenue will close 5 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 6 through October.
  • Fall sports registration closes this Friday, July 31. Saint Paul Parks and Recreation is teaming up with the Vikings to offer free flag football. Register for fall sports, including football, flag football, soccer, and lacrosse at stpaul.gov/youthsports.

July 27, 2020

  • Join a Virtual Townhall on Absentee Voting on Wednesday, July 29, 5 - 6 p.m. Voting from home is a safe and secure option available to every Minnesota voter. While polling places will be open for anyone who wants to vote in person, any person voting can have a ballot sent to their residence. Join the Human Rights and Equal Economic Opportunity (HREEO) Department for an in-depth discussion with the Minnesota Secretary of State’s Office about how your vote matters, even in the comfort of your home. The virtual townhall will provide an overview of the different ways Minnesotans can vote in the 2020 elections.
  • Larpenteur Avenue at Prosperity Road will close for stormwater pond construction beginning today, Monday, July 27. Starting today, Larpenteur Avenue will be closed between Prosperity Road and Kennard Street. Traffic should use alternate routes. The closure is expected to last for several weeks.
  • Metro Transit will resume front-door boarding and onboard fare payment on August 1. Beginning Saturday, August 1, Metro Transit will return to front-door boarding and onboard fare payment is required (pay before boarding on METRO lines). All buses now have plexiglass shields that help protect drivers and customers.
  • Ramsey County Medical Reserve Corps is seeking volunteers. The Medical Reserve Corps of Ramsey County (RCMRC) is a countywide resource of health professionals and other volunteers who strengthen our community by preparing for and responding to public health and related emergencies. The RCMRC is looking for volunteers to fill a variety of roles. Training will be provided. Sign up for the Medical Reserve Corps.

July 24, 2020

  • Governor Walz’s face covering order goes into effect tomorrow, July 25. Wearing a face covering is a simple way to prevent the spread of COVID-19, allowing everyone to safely leave their homes more frequently. Click here to watch a video about mask do's and don'ts from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). Minnesotans will be required to wear a face covering in all indoor public spaces and businesses (including waiting outdoors to enter), unless alone. Exceptions include medical/mental health concerns, children under 5, and workers for whom a mask would create a job hazard. View the MDH FAQ on Governor Walz’s order.
  • Business owners must take reasonable steps to enforce the Governor's face covering requirement for workers, customers, and visitors. The Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce will have masks available for business owners to pick up at the Kellogg Boulevard lobby of the RiverCentre starting on Monday, July 27,  9 a.m. - 2 p.m.  Call 651-265-2775 with questions.  In addition to pick up availability at RiverCentre, Ramsey County and City of Saint Paul will be supporting direct distribution to high-priority businesses unable to access this site, including those owned by people of color located in areas with higher numbers of COVID cases. Contact Clare Verbeten at 651-266-8922 at the City, or Prince Corbett at 612-430-0897 (or racialequity@ramseycounty.us) at Ramsey County for questions regarding this focused distribution. Other business requirements can be found under the "Businesses' obligations under the Executive Order" headline on the Minnesota Department of Health’s website. #MaskUpMN materials for business owners are also available for download.
  • The City of Saint Paul is proud to support the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 30th Anniversary. Tomorrow, July 26, marks 30 years of this important civil rights law that works to ensure all people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. 
  • Como Zoo set to reopen Wednesday, July 29. The Como Zoo and the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory will be open daily 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. to welcome up to 250 visitors at a time. Advanced free reservations and face coverings are required. Visit comozooconservatory.org for more information. Como Town will also reopen on July 29, visit its website for hours and more details. 

July 22, 2020

  • Today, Governor Tim Walz signed Executive Order 20-81, which requires Minnesotans to wear a face covering in indoor businesses and indoor public settings starting on Saturday, July 25. The statewide mandate follows Mayor Carter's Executive Order 2020-09 that has required masks in City-controlled facilities and in licensed businesses since June 1.
  • East and westbound I-94 in Saint Paul will be closed this weekend between Highway 280 and I-35E for work on the Dale Street bridge. The closure starts at 10 p.m. on Friday, July 24 and will end by 5 a.m. on Monday, July 27.
  • The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis is tracking the ongoing effects of COVID-19 on businesses across the Ninth District, a region that includes Minnesota, the Dakotas, Montana, parts of Wisconsin, and Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Please take this 5-minute survey to help the Minneapolis Fed better understand effects on individual firms. All responses are anonymous.
  • Many employers are hiring right now during the COVID-19 pandemic⁠—and they want to connect with people looking for work right away. The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development has created a resource that provides information about the top 30 jobs in demand now in Minnesota and wage range information for each of those jobs, along with a link to additional information about wages, educational requirements, daily tasks, a short video and more for each job.
  • Ramsey County has launched Job Connect, a new interactive job board created in collaboration with Ramsey County Chambers of Commerce, local economic development organizations and municipalities. Experience it now at ramseycounty.us/jobconnect.
  • This week (ending July 25) marks the end of the additional $600 federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation benefit will be paid. You can find additional state and local resources at mn.gov/covid19/gethelp.
  • The Saint Paul Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) invites the community to view HRA meetings online amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Members of the public may view HRA meetings online at stpaul.legistar.com/Calendar or on local cable Channel 18 and can submit comments electronically.
  • Saint Paul Public Library's Summer Spark performances are now available online. Check out this week’s performers at sppl.org/summer-spark/performances. Check back each week for new videos!

July 17, 2020

  • The week ending on July 25 is the last week that the additional $600 federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation benefit will be paid. You can find additional state and local resources at mn.gov/covid19/gethelp.
  • The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) announced today that it has completed the lottery drawing for the winners of the Small Business Relief Grant Program. The program will award $10,000 grants to small businesses that have suffered financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. DEED anticipates being able to provide a complete list of the Small Business Relief Grant Program grantees by late August.
  • Families who received free or reduced-price school meals in the 2019-2020 school year or attended a school that offers free school meals to all students are eligible for pandemic-electronic benefit transfer (P-EBT). If you have not already received P-EBT benefits you have until July 31 to apply. This temporary program provides a one-time payment of $325 per child to families to replace benefits they would otherwise have received during the school year. A hotline for P-EBT questions is available by calling 651-431-4050 or 800-657-3698 Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Using this service will not impact your immigration status or count as a public charge.
  • Beginning Saturday, August 1, Ayd Mill Road will be closed to all traffic from Interstate 35E to Selby Avenue to begin construction work on Ayd Mill Road and install a new pedestrian and bicycle trail on the east side of Ayd Mill Road. The project is expected to be completed in November. For more information about this project, or to sign up for project emails, visit stpaul.gov/aydmillroad.

July 15, 2020

  • Mayor Carter’s Executive Order, 2020-19, signed on July 13, extends Executive Order 2020-5, temporarily regulating skyway hours. The executive order allows building owners connected to the Saint Paul skyway system to reduce daily hours of operation for their skyway section to 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.  
    • The order allows downtown residents and essential workers to continue to move between buildings and access facilities during typical business hours amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The new executive order remains in effect until August 23, 2020 or the end of the declared local emergency.
    • To reduce skyway hours within their buildings, property owners must post signage noting the new temporary operating hours of that section of the skyway. Downloadable signs are available.
    • For information, call 651-266-8989 or email DSI-InformationAndComplaints@ci.stpaul.mn.us.
  • Governor Walz signs a new executive order modifying the suspension of evictions. As COVID-19 continues to impact tenants’ ability to pay their rent, Executive Order 20-79 strikes a balance between protecting housing stability and public health and acknowledging the reality that some evictions are necessary to protect public safety.
    • While the eviction moratorium continues, under this Executive Order, housing providers can evict a tenant when the tenant violates a lease by endangering the safety of others, engaging in certain illegal activities, or significantly damaging property.  
    • The Executive Order also requires landlords to give residential tenants a seven-day notice of intent to file an eviction to help mitigate the impact upon residential tenants and encourage resolutions without court involvement.
  • This week, Ryan Companies held a virtual groundbreaking for the Ford Site development and announced the site's new name: Highland Bridge. The groundbreaking brings us closer to realizing the connected, livable, and sustainable neighborhood our entire city spent more than a decade working to envision. Realizing this vision means creating a mixed-use village for residents to live, work, grow, and thrive in, which will support walking, biking, and transit while providing housing, services, jobs, and activities every generation can enjoy. Learn more at highlandbridge.com.

July 13, 2020

  • One in four Minnesota households are not yet counted in the 2020 Census. Completing the 2020 Census takes about 10 minutes and benefits our community for the next 10 years! You can help by responding today:
    • Online: 2020Census.gov
    • By phone: 844-330-2020 (Available every day, beginning at 6 a.m.)
    • By mail: returning the paper census questionnaire delivered or mailed to your home.
      If the Census Bureau does not hear from your household, a census taker will visit soon to ask you the census questions in person.

July 10, 2020

  • Beginning next week, the City is accepting donations of personal protective equipment (PPE) to assist with the COVID-19 response effort. Starting July 17, the City will accept PPE donations every Friday, 1-4 p.m. at the Fire Department Headquarters (645 Randolph Avenue). The following items will be accepted:
    • Cloth face coverings
    • Masks (N95, surgical, procedural)
    • Disinfecting Wipes such as Clorox or Sani-Cloth wipes
    • Hand Sanitizer (At least 70% alcohol, Gel preferred)
    • Isolation or Surgical Gowns
    • Eye Protection (Safety Glasses or Goggles) 
  • The Paycheck Protection Program is accepting new loan applications in response to the Paycheck Protection Program Extension Act. The deadline to apply is now August 8. Find an eligible lender near you: sba.gov/paycheckprotection/find.

July 8, 2020

  • If you need help paying for rent, mortgage or utilities, contact Ramsey County for more information about Emergency Assistance (EA) and Emergency General Assistance (EGA). Emergency Assistance helps adults with children, and pregnant women. Emergency General Assistance helps adults without children.EA and EGA help with shelter, such as past due rent/mortgage or a damage deposit. EA and EGA also help pay for utilities, including electricity, heat and water, when there is threat of disconnection.
  • The Saint Paul Downpayment Assistance Program provides financial assistance for homebuyers at or below 60% Area Median Income (AMI). Qualified homebuyers can receive up to $40,000 for a home downpayment, closing costs, and/or property inspection. The program was developed to protect and preserve naturally occurring affordable housing in neighborhoods vulnerable to displacement and gentrification pressures. The Downpayment Assistance Program is funded by the Housing Trust Fund, with support from Minnesota Housing. Homebuyers must:
    • Owner occupy and register as a homestead with Ramsey County throughout the loan term;
    • Have net assets at or under $25,000; and,
    • Earn at or less than 60% Area Median Income (AMI). AMI is based on the number of people in a household
  • Saint Paul Connect Offers Free Youth Programs. Several Saint Paul organizations have come together to offer free programs, activities and weekly challenges for kids to stay engaged this summer. New activities are added every week, and include fun and educational programs from Saint Paul Public Library, Saint Paul Parks and Recreation, SPPS Community Education and many more. Learn more at spps.org/saintpaulconnect.

July 6, 2020

  • Starting July 11, the Robert Street Bridge over the Mississippi River in St. Paul will be closed for six weeks for repair/resurfacing. Travelers can cross the river on the nearby Wabasha Street Bridge. Find detour routes at dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/robertstreet/.
  • Safe Summer Nights canceled for July. Due to the current COVID-19 situation, the Saint Paul Police Department is canceling the Safe Summer Nights cookouts that had been planned for July. Events are still tentatively planned for August but are subject to public health guidance at that time.
  • Apply for the the We Love Saint Paul and We Love Midway funds. These emergency funds were set up in partnership between the Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce, the Midway Chamber of Commerce, and the Saint Paul Downtown Alliance in order to provide direct support to small businesses and nonprofits impacted by the unrest that followed Mr. Floyd’s death. Apply by filling out the application found at: https://forms.gle/VMdK5wFQpVyiizSU8. Grants will be awarded on a rolling basis until the funds are exhausted.
  • Saint Paul families can sign up for free meal delivery from Saint Paul Public Schools this summer. You do not need to be enrolled in SPPS to receive meals. Boxes are delivered once a week and include five breakfasts and five lunches. Meal boxes can also be picked up at Riverview Library on Mondays and Wednesdays, Rondo Community Library on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and three SPPS schools on Fridays. This Friday (July 10), families who pick up a meal box at Harding High School can also get a free art kit courtesy of the Walker Art Center and Chase Bank. For more information, visit the SPPS summer meals page.
  • Saint Paul Parks and Recreation is teaming up with the Vikings to offer free flag football to all participants this season. Registration for fall youth football, flag football, soccer, and lacrosse is now open through July 31. The City will continue to monitor COVID-19 and its impacts on our programs and services. Should the status of offering fall sports change, we will adapt the offerings as needed.
  • The library's summer reading program, Summer Spark, launches today. Sign up on the library's interactive reading app, Beanstack, or pick up a reading log at one of the library's contactless pickup branches and get a free book! To learn more visit sppl.org/summer.

July 2, 2020

  • Pay It Forward: Watch this special message from community leaders about supporting our local businesses - Many of our local businesses are experiencing unprecedented hardship. Together with our partners, we’re here to help make sure no one is left behind during this public health and economic crisis. Through the new Pay It Forward initiative, our local business owners can access FREE business and financial assistance to help them navigate a confusing array of grant and loan relief opportunities. Watch this video to learn more about the initiative and visit saintpaulchamber.com/payitforward to get started.
  • We encourage all residents to celebrate the 4th of July in ways that align with public health guidance. Here are a few important reminders from Parks and Recreation as we head into the holiday weekend.
    • As you celebrate, please remember that we all have a responsibility to ensure the safety of those around us as we enjoy our public spaces. Please follow six-feet physical distancing practices and limit gatherings to 25 per the current ‘Stay Safe MN’ guidelines.
    • While we welcome all to use our Parks and Recreation properties to celebrate responsibly, the use of fireworks is not permitted.
    • With the exception of authorized picnic areas, the consumption of alcohol is prohibited at parks and recreation center properties.
    • Drinking fountains and restrooms will not be available. Port-a-pottys are located in parks.
    • The weekend forecast calls for hot weather. Bring a water bottle and stay in the shade as much as possible.
    • All splash pads will be open from 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. daily: stpaul.gov/splashpads.
    • Phalen Beach will be open 12 - 8 p.m. daily: stpaul.gov/phalenbeach.
    • As a reminder, all recreation centers are still closed to inside visitors.
    • Langford Park's 4th in the Park will be held virtually this year: 73rd Fourth in the Park Virtual Event: facebook.com/events/1511357795704429/.
    • Stay up-to-date on current guidelines and Parks and Recreation updates at stpaul.gov/parks-covid19.

July 1, 2020

  • Mayor Melvin Carter announced today the launch of a local consumer financial protection planning effort in partnership with the national nonprofit organization the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE Fund), and the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Saint Paul will begin planning a communications campaign to raise consumer awareness of and protect residents from COVID-19 related scams and continue planning in the coming months for broader consumer financial protection capabilities within the City.
  • There will be no free meal pickup at Arlington Hills Community or Rice Recreation Center this Friday, July 3 due to the holiday weekend. Meal pickup will take place on Friday as scheduled from 2-4 p.m. at Dunning (Arts-Us). The regular schedule will resume on Tuesday, July 7.
  • Minnesota Chamber of Commerce Restoration and Recovery Resources - In response to the damage and loss of businesses in Minneapolis and Saint Paul and COVID-19, the Chamber is working to create a network of expertise, services and volunteer time to help businesses who need it most. The Chamber has created a database of member companies willing to donate their products and services, free of charge, to help struggling businesses get back on their feet.
  • Transit service on Independence Day - Metro Transit buses and the METRO Blue and Green lines will follow current reduced service schedules on Friday, July 3 and on Independence Day (Saturday, July 4). The Transit Information Center will be open to offer trip planning assistance from 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, July 3 and 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 4.

June 29, 2020

  • Saint Paul Public Library's Summer Spark program kicks off with a special storytime featuring Mayor Carter on Wednesday, July 1 at 10:30 a.m. The program will be live-streamed on Facebook. A recording of the storytime will be available later on at sppl.org/little-learners.
  • Saint Paul Public Library's Bookmobile will be visiting 30 locations a month to offer contactless holds pickup, and to give away free books and Take & Make kits for kids and families. Free Wi-Fi is coming in July, powered by Verizon. Please visit sppl.org/bookmobile for more details.
  • Garbage and recycling collection will NOT be impacted by the 4th of July holiday. The holiday falls on a Saturday and will not impact garbage and recycling collection schedules. Learn more about the Residential Recycling Program and Organized Trash Collection.

June 26, 2020

  • Saint Paul Parks and Recreation announces Phalen Regional Park Beach will officially open for the summer on Saturday, June 27. The beach will be open from 12 - 8 p.m. daily with lifeguards on duty and public health guidelines in place. The City's splash pads are also expected to open soon. Updates on Saint Paul aquatics facilities will be posted at www.stpaul.gov/aquatics. Como Regional Park Pool and Highland Park Aquatic Center will remain closed for the summer.
  • Saint Paul Parks and Recreation announce a return to in-person programming. The new Summer Space outdoor youth program and S'more Fun program are now available at some locations. The free Fitness in the Parks classes are also back and registration is now open for The Sanneh Foundation soccer camps and Saint Paul Urban Tennis programs. Check out all current programs at www.stpaul.gov/rec-reimagined.
  • Saint Paul Public Library is offering computer access at select locations. Computer access is available at Hayden Heights, Rice Street, and Riverview Libraries by appointment. Call 651-266-7000, Monday-Friday between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. or Saturday between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. to schedule an hour to use the computer with internet and printer access. Find more information at sppl.org/computers-technology.
  • This week, the City Council passed a resolution commemorating Pride Month 2020, and our City’s ongoing commitment to supporting LGBTQ rights. As we continue our work in Saint Paul to build an even more welcoming and inclusive city for everyone in our LGBTQ community, join us in celebrating Pride 2020 and help us create an even brighter future that supports the freedom for all of us to be who we are.
  • Increased service begins Saturday, June 27 for METRO Blue & Green lines and select bus routes. The METRO Blue and Green line will begin daily service at 5 a.m. through 11:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 27. Service will be every 15 minutes beginning Saturday. Visit MetroTransit.org for more information.
  • Absentee voting opens today, June 26 for state primary. Ramsey County voters may vote early by using an absentee ballot in advance of the state primary on Tuesday, Aug. 11. Residents can cast their ballot in person or vote by mail from June 26 to Aug. 10.

June 24, 2020

  • Paycheck Protection Program applications are due on June 30. Applications must receive a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan number by June 30, 2020, and any interested applicants should work with their lender prior to this date to ensure submission of the application. Do you need help applying for the Paycheck Protection Program? The City, in partnership with an array of community partners, can help you through the Pay It Forward business mentorship program.
  • Ramp closures at Highway 62/55 begin today, June 24 through July. If you are traveling to/from Saint Paul, please plan ahead. Major construction will be taking place as crews work to improve the quality and safety of your route. Learn more about the project at aroundtheairport.com.
  • Learn more about the City of Saint Paul's Racial Equity Workgroup. The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the effects of the recent unrest following the tragic death of George Floyd are not fair nor equitably distributed. The City, through the Racial Equity Work Group, is committed to understanding and engaging with all our communities so we can create an inclusive response and recovery plan that addresses not only the immediate health and safety of employees and the people they serve but also the short and long-term social and financial impacts created by school and business closures.

June 22, 2020

  • Youth Digital Roundtable with Mayor Carter. Young people of Saint Paul are invited to a conversation with Mayor Melvin Carter. Join us online this Wednesday, June 24, 4-6 p.m. on YouTube for a special roundtable. Submit your questions on social media using #AskMayorCarter.
  • Minnesota Small Business Relief Grants. The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has announced a new Minnesota Small Business Relief Grants Program. This program will provide $10,000 grants to small businesses that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses with 50 or fewer full-time employees are eligible. The application period will begin on Tuesday, June 23 and close at 5 p.m. on Thursday, July 2 to fulfill the 10-day period required by the law.
  • New Sports Guidance Available. The Minnesota Department of Health issued new guidance on sports participation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Youth sports games and scrimmages can resume June 24 or later for outdoor sports, and July 1 or later for indoor sports. The guidance seeks to balance the goals of minimizing disease transmission and allowing young people to engage in sports activities that have important physical, emotional, and social benefits. It also provides additional clarifications and recommendations for adult sports competitions this summer. View the new sports guidance and answers to frequently asked questions at Community Settings: COVID-19.
  • Celebrate Pride with Saint Paul Public Library. June is national Pride month, and Saint Paul Public Library will be celebrating Pride with storytimes livestreamed on Facebook this Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday (June 23-25) at 10:30 a.m. Children’s Specialists from the library will focus on books, songs, and activities that promote self-expression, identity, and families in the LGBTQ+ community. Please join us on SPPL's Facebook page, for a storytime on June 23, 24 and 25 and let’s celebrate together! If you are not able to join us live on Facebook, each storytime will be available to watch after 12:30 p.m. by visiting our sppl.org/little-learners page, where you will find other storytimes, reading lists, and virtual programs for the youngest residents of Saint Paul. All Pride storytime videos will be available on the library’s website until July 3.

June 19, 2020

  • The City hosted a Virtual Community Juneteenth Celebration earlier today. The City's commemoration, presented in partnership with the Saint Paul Public Library and Ujamaa Place, featured Mayor Carter, African American community leaders, local artists, ArtsUs Youth Drummers, and music by The War and Treaty.
  • Marjorie McNeely Conservatory opening Monday, June 22. The Conservatory will be able to welcome up to 250 visitors at a time and advanced reservations are required. Visitors will not be admitted without an advance reservation. Important things to know before visiting:
    • Reservations are valid for up to four people. Infants and children need to be included in the reservation. Reservations are only available on Como’s website: comozooconservatory.org.
    • Due to physical distancing guidelines, admission is limited each day. Advanced reservations will be taken in the order they are received.
    • In accordance with Emergency Executive Order 2020-09, all staff and visitors are required to wear face coverings/masks while on the grounds of Como Park Zoo and Conservatory.
    • Wheelchairs, strollers, and drinking fountains are unavailable at this time. You may bring your own wheelchair, stroller or filled water bottle as needed.
    • Admission is free but you must acquire your timed reservation confirmation from Como's website. A voluntary donation at the front entrance of $3 for adults and $2 for children is always appreciated.
  • UPDATED HELPLINE - For questions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, call the Minnesota Helpline at 651-297-1304 or 1-800-657-3504, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Robert Street Bridge closes July 11. Beginning on Saturday, July 11, the Minnesota Department of Transportation will close the Robert St. Bridge over the Mississippi River in Saint Paul for six weeks. Crews will complete needed repairs to improve and extend the life of the bridge’s pavement. Here are the detour routes during this six-week closure:
    • Southbound vehicle traffic: Kellogg Blvd. to Wabasha St. Bridge to Plato Blvd.
    • Northbound vehicle traffic: Plato Blvd. to Wabasha St. Bridge to 5th St. E
    • Pedestrians and bicyclists: Wabasha St. Bridge via Kellogg Blvd. or E Fillmore Ave.
    • Please watch for detour signs and plan for possible delays. To view maps of these detour routes and get more information, visit the Robert Street project page
  • The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is working closely with Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and determine how to keep Minnesota students, their families, and staff healthy. While it is too soon to determine how students will return to school this fall, MDE and MDH have developed guidance around three scenarios to help them plan for the 2020-2021 school year:
    • Scenario 1: In-person learning for all students
    • Scenario 2: Hybrid learning with strict social distancing and capacity limits
    • Scenario 3: Distance learning only
    • Decisions around the fall may change as the state learns more about which scenario will be in the best interest of public health, and specifically the health and safety of our school communities.
    • For more information and updates, visit: Stay Safe Guidance for Schools, Colleges, and Universities.

June 17, 2020

  • Virtual town halls for businesses and residents impacted by response to George Floyd's death. Business representatives, community organizations, property owners and residents are invited to join one of two virtual town halls in June to share feedback and input with Ramsey County and City staff on how government can best help communities rebuild following the response to George Floyd's death.
    • We want to listen to concerns and needs from businesses, community organizations and property owners who had property damaged, and residents of neighborhoods that experienced damage.
    • These town halls are hosted by the Racial Equity and Community Engagement Response Team in partnership with the city of Saint Paul.
    • The town halls will be held on Thursday, June 18, 4 - 6 p.m. and Tuesday, June 23, 7:30 - 9 a.m.
  • Beginning today, June 17, Mississippi River Boulevard will be closed from Marshall Avenue to Randolph Avenue to complete a variety of scheduled construction and repair projects in preparation for a mill and overlay in early September.
    • The northern section lane closure for social distancing on Mississippi River Boulevard from Marshall to Emerald Street SE is still in place until further notice.
    • For more information about the Mississippi River Boulevard Improvements, a detailed map, and project updates, please visit stpaul.gov/MRBImprovements.
  • The City in partnership with the Saint Paul Public Library and Ujamaa Place invites you to a virtual community Juneteenth commemoration of heritage and culture featuring Mayor Melvin Carter, III, African American community leaders, local artists and ArtsUs youth cultural drummers. Join the celebration at sppl.org/juneteenth.

June 15, 2020

  • Playgrounds, skate parks, sports courts, and other amenities have now reopened. Please keep in mind that playground equipment, picnic tables, park benches, and other amenities are not sanitized and should be used with caution and at your own risk. For more information, view Parks and Recreation's list of open amenities and current health and safety guidelines.
  • The single lane closure for social distancing on Mounds Boulevard between Plum and Bates ended on Friday, June 12 to construct pedestrian ramps opposite Indian Mounds Regional Park. This road segment will no longer be able to be used for additional social distancing; pedestrians and bicyclists will need to share the trail. Anticipate sidewalk closures to occur next week at cross-streets between Plum and Bates. Refer to the project website for updates.
  • The lane closure for social distancing on Mississippi River Boulevard between Ford Pkwy and Marshall Avenue ended today, Monday, June 15 due to planned construction and repair projects. The northern section lane closure for social distancing on Mississippi River Boulevard from Marshall to Emerald Street SE is still in place until further notice. For more information about the Mississippi River Boulevard Improvements, a detailed map, and project updates, please visit stpaul.gov/MRBImprovements.

June 12, 2020

  • Lane closure for social distancing on a portion of Mississippi River Boulevard will end on Monday, June 15. Beginning Monday, June 15 the City will end the lane closure for social distancing on a portion of Mississippi River Boulevard in preparation for planned construction and repair projects between Ford Parkway and Marshall Avenue.
    • The temporary social distancing lane closure on the northern section of Mississippi River Boulevard will remain in place from Marshall Avenue to Emerald Street SE.
    • On June 17, Mississippi River Boulevard will be closed from Randolph Avenue to Marshall Avenue to complete scheduled water main work, along with several sidewalk and sewer repair projects in preparation for a mill and overlay in early September. This work on Mississippi River Boulevard is anticipated to be completed by August 7, 2020. The mill and overlay will be done in early September.
    • For more information about the Mississippi River Boulevard Improvements, a detailed map, and project updates, please visit stpaul.gov/MRBImprovements.
  • The City is accepting donations to support community needs and the City's response to COVID-19 and recent civil unrest. Complete an online intake form to share information about your donation. The City appreciates all of the community members who have expressed interest in donating items to support community needs and the City’s response to COVID-19 and recent civil unrest.
    • The City is currently accepting PPE donations to help support the needs of city staff and community volunteers.
    • If you are interested in donating other goods and services to help meet community needs, the City may be able to help connect you to nonprofit community-based organizations and other community partners that are working to meet many needs including food distribution, business rebuilding, transportation services, and more.
    • To make a donation of PPE to the City of Saint Paul or to donate other recovery related goods to organizations meeting community needs, please complete our online form.
  • The CDC has released new guidance about how to reduce risk of coronavirus infection for everyday activities whether you are staying at home, going out, or traveling within the United States.
  • A new Federal Resources for U.S. Small Businesses website is now available. Visit the official federal resource website for U.S. small businesses affected by COVID-19. You can view relevant federal agency resources, access the latest news, and search for a Small Business Advisor near you.
  • Visit Saint Paul Connect for no-cost summer courses and activities delivered by our trusted community partners. You’ll find a variety of opportunities to keep your children active throughout the summer. Saint Paul Connect is a website built to share free youth programs, hosted by Saint Paul youth-serving agencies, including the City of Saint Paul Parks & Recreation, Saint Paul Public Library, and Sprockets. Check back often as programs will be continually created and added throughout the summer.

June 11, 2020

  • ReUSE Minnesota is supporting the community through the Twin Cities Plywood Rescue, an effort to collect and store plywood for reuse later. As businesses start removing plywood and reopening their locations, ReUSE Minnesota's goal is to minimize the amount of usable material going to the landfill or being burned.
  • A broad alliance of Twin Cities counties, chambers of commerce, community development agencies and other partners are building a local support network to help small businesses survive and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and other challenges facing our small business community. The Business4Business Minneapolis-Saint Paul (B4B MSP) coalition will connect small businesses with local resources from public agencies and private sector partners, including technical and financial assistance to provide immediate relief. Learn more about B4B MSP and how to support small businesses in our region
  • The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Minnesota chapter is mobilizing architects and the broader architecture community to provide one-hour consultation services to restaurants, bars and food service establishments to help them apply the State of Minnesota’s guidance for reopening in the midst of COVID-19. Architects licensed to practice in Minnesota, along with architectural designers and other key collaborators, will be matched with business owners/operators to explore options specific to their site and spaces.
  • Many of our local businesses are experiencing unprecedented hardship. Together with our partners, we’re here to help make sure no one is left behind during this public health and economic crisis. Through the new Pay It Forward initiative, our local businesses owners can access FREE business and financial assistance to help them navigate a confusing array of grant and loan relief opportunities. Learn more and get assistance at saintpaulchamber.com/payitforward.

June 10, 2020

  • Phase III of the Stay Safe MN plan went into effect today, June 10. Phase III of the Stay Safe Order turns the dial further to allow cautious and safe re-opening of indoor dining, gyms, and entertainment venues. What does this mean for residents and businesses?
    • Restaurants can begin offering indoor dining while maintaining social distancing, requiring reservations, and seating no more than 50 percent occupancy.
    • Indoor social gatherings can take place with 10 people or less; outdoor social gatherings can take place with 25 people or less.
    • Gyms, personal fitness and yoga studios, and martial arts may open at 25 percent capacity.
    • Indoor entertainment venues, such as theaters and concert halls, can open at 25 percent capacity.
    • Recreational indoor entertainment venues, such as bowling alleys, arcades, and museums may open at 25 percent capacity.
    • Personal services, such as salons, tattoo parlors, and barbershops, may increase occupancy rates to 50 percent while requiring reservations.
    • Outdoor entertainment venues, such as sporting events, concerts, and theaters may open at 25 percent capacity.
    • Places of worship can increase occupancy rates to 50 percent. 
    • Businesses and residents must continue to follow the City's face covering policy which requires face coverings in City-controlled facilities and in businesses licensed by the City when social distancing of 6 feet cannot be maintained.
  • ReUSE Minnesota is supporting the community through the Twin Cities Plywood Rescue, an effort to collect and store plywood for reuse later. As businesses start removing plywood and reopening their locations, ReUSE Minnesota's goal is to minimize the amount of usable material going to the landfill or being burned.
    • Request plywood pickup. You will be matched with a volunteer who will pick up your boards. Wood will be taken to a central location to be sorted and palletized for future use.
    • Sign up as a volunteer to help with this effort.
    • ReUSE Minnesota will respect murals and artwork and is working with the MN Historical Society and other organizations to preserve these pieces.

June 9, 2020

  • Free COVID-19 testing is now available at Jimmy Lee Recreation Center. Get tested for COVID-19 at Jimmy Lee Recreation Center (270 Lexington Parkway) on June 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24, 12 -6 p.m. Drive-through testing available. Testing is open to everyone, symptoms or no symptoms, at no cost. Sign up for an appointment time now. This helps keep wait times short and give people plenty of space.
  • The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has released updated guidance for youth and adult sports. MDH is working hard to get Minnesotans back on fields, courts, ice, and more — safely — during COVID-19. MDH has turned the dial to allow for more activity and more people as safely as possibly by updating its guidance for youth and adult sports. See guidance for youth and adult sports, including the full list of sports at Stay Safe Guidance for Organized Sports.
  • The National Disaster Distress Helpline (call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746) is available 24/7/365 with crisis counseling & emotional support for anyone in the U.S. experiencing distress or other mental health concerns related to community unrest occurring in many cities across the country. Calls & texts are confidential and counselors are trained to support you no matter how you've been impacted or how you may identify during the call/text.

June 8, 2020

  • Lane closure for social distancing on a portion of Mississippi River Boulevard will end on June 15. Beginning June 15, the Mississippi River Boulevard from Ford Parkway to Marshall Avenue will no longer be able to be used for additional social distancing; pedestrians and bicyclists will need to share the trail. Learn more about the project here.
    • The temporary lane closure was put in place on April 22 to create additional outdoor space for pedestrians and bicyclists to social distance along the roadway. The temporary social distancing lane closure on the northern section of Mississippi River Boulevard will remain in place from Marshall Avenue to Emerald Street SE.
    • On June 17, Mississippi River Boulevard will be closed from Randolph Avenue to Marshall Avenue to complete scheduled water main work, along with several sidewalk and sewer repair projects in preparation for a mill and overlay in early September. This work on Mississippi River Boulevard is anticipated to be completed by August 7, 2020. The mill and overlay will be done in early September.
  • Governor Tim Walz’s Executive Order 20-74 allows for additional businesses to safely reopen including lifting some restrictions on restaurants, bars and other establishments to serve food indoors. The order, signed on June 5 and taking effect at 11:59 p.m. on June 9, permits establishments offering food and beverages-including alcoholic beverages- to provide indoor and outdoor service provided:
    • Occupancy of any indoor space does not exceed 50% of the normal capacity with a maximum of 250 in any single self-contained space;
    • The number of customers served in any outdoor space is limited to the number for whom 6-feet social distancing between tables can be maintained but may not exceed 250 people;
    • Workers and customers follow face-covering requirements as listed in the state’s guidance at the Stay Safe Minnesota website.
    • Learn more about Phase III of the Stay Safe MN plan here.
  • I-94 in will be reduced to one lane in each direction between Lexington Pkwy and Marion St beginning at 10 p.m. tonight, Monday, June 8 so crews can install beams on the new Dale St bridge. Learn more about the project here.

June 5, 2020

  • Xcel Energy understands that many customers may have trouble paying their energy bill during this challenging time. Click here to find out more about energy assistance programs that will help cover your bill or help set up a payment plan.
  • Ramsey County is providing emergency assistance to small local businesses adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications are being accepted for the Small Business Relief Fund. Click here to learn more.
  • The Minnesota Department of Commerce and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) are warning Minnesotans to be on alert for text scams related to contact tracing of COVID-19. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), scammers are sending texts that tell the recipient that someone with whom they had contact has tested positive, and to click a link for more information. Depending on the specific attack, by clicking on the link, the victim could be prompted to download unwanted software that can access data on their phone, or they may be directed to a site that tries to trick them into revealing sensitive information like their Social Security number, bank information, passwords or medical information. Remember official public health workers conducting contact tracing initially will reach out to people by phone, NOT text. Learn more here: https://mn.gov/commerce/media/news/#/detail/appId/2/id/433851/

June 4, 2020

  • Testing for COVID-19 is now more available in Minnesota. The Minnesota Department of Health has created a video that explains who should get tested, where to get tested, and how to get your results.
  • Are you a business owner interested in working with a business mentor to complete financing applications or to get other types of technical help? The Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce, SCORE, Ramsey County, African Economic Development Solutions, Hmong American Partnership, Latino Economic Development Center, Neighborhood Development Center, Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers, and other partners are joining together to help Saint Paul and East Metro business owners navigate the confusing array of grant and loan relief opportunities through the Pay It Forward program. Learn more and get assistance: saintpaulchamber.com/payitforward.
  • Saint Paul Public Schools is offering weekly home meal delivery to families who are in need of food for their children. Meals are available for kids ages 18 and under, or those with a disability enrolled in a school program. If you would like to receive home delivery from SPPS, you can register online here.

June 3, 2020

  • The Minnesota Department of Health recommends that any Minnesotan who has attended a protest, vigil, or community clean-up get tested for COVID-19. If you start to feel sick, get tested right away. If you do not feel sick, get tested as soon as you can, but no later than 5-7 days after the event. If the test is negative and you are worried you might have been exposed, get another test 12-14 days after the event, even if you do not feel sick. Talk to a doctor, local clinic, or find a testing location near you: https://mn.gov/covid19/for-minnesotans/if-sick/testing-locations/index.jsp.
  • Today, Mayor Carter extended several emergency executive orders. These orders, which were set to expire today, June 3, remain necessary to protect public health, safety, and welfare.
  • Ramsey County is providing emergency assistance to small local businesses adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications are being accepted for the Small Business Relief Fund, providing grants of $7,500 to small businesses most in need of support. The first round of awards, open through June 12, includes 670 grants being awarded to help businesses with 20 or fewer employees pay for critical expenses such as rent or mortgage payments, utilities and costs associated with reopening. Subsequent grant periods will be announced in the weeks ahead. o Funding for the Small Business Relief Fund is provided through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The Relief Fund will be administered by the Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers’ Open to Business program.

June 2, 2020

  • Bus and Northstar service will resume on Wednesday, June 3. Metro Transit buses and Northstar Commuter Rail will resume at 4 a.m. on Wednesday, June 3. Metro Transit also hopes to resume light rail service on June 4. An update will be provided no later than 6 p.m. on Wednesday about service the following day. Details here.

June 1, 2020

  • The City's face covering policy now in effect. Executive order 2020-09 requires face masks to be worn indoors in all city-controlled facilities and at all businesses licensed by the City of Saint Paul at all times when social distancing of at least 6 feet is not maintained. The order will apply to all individuals except young children at risk of suffocation and persons who cannot medically tolerate wearing a face covering. Acceptable face coverings include manufactured or homemade cloth face coverings, and are not required to be medical-grade masks. Face coverings must fully cover a person’s nose and mouth. All businesses in Saint Paul are also strongly encouraged to include a requirement that all individuals wear a face covering at all times when social distancing of at least 6 feet is not maintained in their COVID-19 Preparedness Plan under Governor Walz’ Executive Order 20-56.
  • City issues detailed guidance to support bars and restaurants reopening on June 1 in accordance with the Governor's executive orders. The City of Saint Paul has streamlined processes for restaurant and bar owners who wish to safely reopen on June 1, as permitted by the Governor’s executive orders. Business owners can now find detailed guidance on stpaul.gov, including an interactive form that will automatically send business owners the materials and forms they need based on provided information. On May 27, 2020, Mayor Carter issued executive order 2020-10, which allows for expanded use of outdoor space, streamlines some procedures, and waives associated fees. The Mayor’s order covers restaurants, bars, brew-on-premise, general retail and other businesses. Learn more about Minnesota's Stay Safe Phase II here.

May 31, 2020

  • The City's face covering policy will go into effect tomorrow, Monday, June 1. Executive order 2020-09 requires face masks to be worn indoors in all city-controlled facilities and at all businesses licensed by the City of Saint Paul at all times when social distancing of at least 6 feet is not maintained. The order will apply to all individuals except young children at risk of suffocation and persons who cannot medically tolerate wearing a face covering. Acceptable face coverings include manufactured or homemade cloth face coverings, and are not required to be medical-grade masks. Face coverings must fully cover a person’s nose and mouth. All businesses in Saint Paul are also strongly encouraged to include a requirement that all individuals wear a face covering at all times when social distancing of at least 6 feet is not maintained in their COVID-19 Preparedness Plan under Governor Walz’ Executive Order 20-56.
  • City issues detailed guidance to support bars and restaurants reopening on June 1 in accordance with the Governor's executive orders. The City of Saint Paul has streamlined processes for restaurant and bar owners who wish to safely reopen on June 1, as permitted by the Governor’s executive orders. Business owners can now find detailed guidance, including an interactive form that will automatically send business owners the materials and forms they need based on provided information. On May 27, 2020, Mayor Carter issued executive order 2020-10, which allows for expanded use of outdoor space, streamlines some procedures, and waives associated fees. The Mayor’s order covers restaurants, bars, brew-on-premise, general retail and other businesses.

May 29, 2020

  • Saint Paul Public Library contactless holds pickups are suspended until Monday, June 1. Learn more about Saint Paul Public Library resources at sppl.org.
  • Metro Transit will suspend all bus and light rail service through the weekend. This suspension includes all Metro Transit bus, light rail, and Northstar service with one exception.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidelines on detailing how office buildings can reopen following months of social distancing amid the novel coronavirus outbreak. Office building employers, building owners and managers, and building operations specialists can take steps to create a safe and healthy workplace and protect workers and clients following these guidelines.

May 28, 2020

  • Yesterday, Mayor Carter issued Executive Order 2020-10, which includes a set of business license measures that will support restaurants and bars in maximizing their ability to leverage surrounding spaces for outdoor patio seating as allowed by Phase II of the Stay Safe MN plan starting June 1. These measures include:
    • The suspension of some off-street parking requirements for licensed restaurants and bars.
    • Expediting the sidewalk cafe license application process for licensed restaurants and bars including simplification of the site plan review process and no additional fees required.
    • Expediting the approval of plans for the use of parking areas for patio or sale space for licensed restaurants and bars.
    • Detailed guidance and process information for businesses who are interested in learning more about these measures will be available Friday.
  • Saint Paul Public Library hosted an online storytime this morning that honored George Floyd and acknowledged the very real and difficult events and feelings in our community right now. You can watch the storytime here.
  • Metro Transit bus and light rail service will be suspended for the rest of Thursday, May 28 (airport shuttle and Northstar trips will operate). Learn more at metrotransit.org.
  • Starting June 1, Executive Order 2020-09 requires face masks to be worn indoors in all city-controlled facilities and at all businesses licensed by the City of Saint Paul at all times when social distancing of at least 6 feet is not maintained. The order will apply to all individuals except young children at risk of suffocation and persons who cannot medically tolerate wearing a face covering. Acceptable face coverings include manufactured or homemade cloth face coverings, and are not required to be medical-grade masks. Face coverings must fully cover a person’s nose and mouth.

May 27, 2020

  • Today, Mayor Carter announced two executive orders which will further support public health and safety alongside changes in public health guidance as Minnesota moves into Phase II of Stay Safe MN on June 1st. The executive orders include a face mask requirement for all city-controlled facilities, as well as businesses licensed in Saint Paul, and a set of business license measures that support restaurants and bars in maximizing their ability to leverage surrounding spaces for outdoor patio seating.
    • ABOUT FACE MASKS IN CITY CONTROLLED FACILITIES AND LICENSED BUSINESSES
      • Executive order 2020-09 requires face masks to be worn indoors in all city-controlled facilities and at all businesses licensed by the City of Saint Paul at all times when social distancing of at least 6 feet is not maintained.
      • The order will apply to all individuals except young children at risk of suffocation and persons who cannot medically tolerate wearing a face covering. Acceptable face coverings include manufactured or homemade cloth face coverings, and are not required to be medical-grade masks. Face coverings must fully cover a person’s nose and mouth.
      • All businesses in Saint Paul are also strongly encouraged to include a requirement that all individuals wear a face covering at all times when social distancing of at least 6 feet is not maintained in their COVID-19 Preparedness Plan under Governor Walz’ Executive Order 20-56.
    • ABOUT BUSINESS LICENSE MEASURES FOR RESTAURANTS AND BARS Executive order 2020-10 includes a set of business license measures that will support restaurants and bars in maximizing their ability to leverage surrounding spaces for outdoor patio seating as allowed by Phase II of the Stay Safe MN plan. These measures include:
      • The suspension of some off-street parking requirements for licensed restaurants and bars.
      • Expediting the sidewalk cafe license application process for licensed restaurants and bars including simplification of the site plan review process and no additional fees required.
      • Expediting the approval of plans for the use of parking areas for patio or sale space for licensed restaurants and bars.
      • Expediting the review and approval of temporary road closures and use of park space for patio or sale space. Detailed guidance and process information for businesses who are interested in learning more about these measures will be available Friday. Both orders take effect on June 1, 2020.
  • Como Regional Park Pool and Highland Park Aquatic Center will not open this summer. Without our spring lifeguard trainings taking place this year, we will not have the staff needed to open these facilities this summer. We are exploring other ways for our residents to safely cool off. Great River Water Park, Phalen Beach and our splash pads remain closed at this time. We thank you for your continued patience and will provide more information as it becomes available.
  • Saint Paul Public Works is suspending all sales of Residential Parking Permits until further notice (previously June 1). No Residential Parking Permits, including Visitor, Hangtags, and Day Passes in any Parking Permit Area will be sold at this time. For questions or more information, call 651-266-9777 during normal business hours or visit stpaul.gov/parkingpermits.

May 26, 2020

  • Our community is facing unprecedented challenges and we need your help more than ever. Serve Saint Paul: Neighbors Helping Neighbors is building a community of service in Saint Paul by connecting neighbors who could use a helping hand during the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more at stpaul.gov/neighbors. Neighbors Helping Neighbors is supported by Cities of Service and AARP.
    Featured volunteer opportunities include:
    • Help staff local food shelves and support curbside pick-up
    • Deliver food and household supplies to isolated households
    • Call or door knock households to distribute information on community resources and public health guidance
    • Participate in wellness checks by calling or sending texts to your neighbors
    • Make masks for public health and other critical workers
    • Help households with mobility or income barriers with exterior property clean-up
  • The City of Saint Paul was selected as one of ten jurisdictions across the nation to join a network to pursue bold, innovative solutions to reform unjust fines and fees. Across the country, city and county leaders are advancing bold reforms to ensure their fines, fees, and tickets do not place a disproportionate burden on residents living on low incomes and people of color. These local leaders have found that fines and fees that exceed residents’ ability to pay are often a lose-lose, for people and for government.
  • The City has created an interactive online calculator that will help small business owners easily calculate 50% occupancy capacity based on square footage. This tool is meant to provide an estimated calculation of modifications necessary to reduce your occupancy load by 50% as you prepare your plan to comply with Governor Walz’s Order #20-56. This estimate should not be considered binding or relied upon for fire code or exiting purposes. If you need further guidance please contact 651-266-8989.
  • Find food resources with Ramsey County's interactive Food Access Locations map. Ramsey County offers food and basic needs resources are for residents, including assistance programs to increase monthly food budgets, for children under the age of 18, for seniors, and for residents with transportation or mobility barriers.

May 22, 2020

  • We encourage you to enjoy the City’s nationally-recognized Parks and Recreation amenities safely this holiday weekend.
    • The following facilities are open for Memorial Day weekend, with 6ft social distancing and additional guidelines in place:
      • Parks, trails, and open spaces
      • Dog parks
      • Athletic fields
      • Tennis and basketball courts (limited locations with more opening soon)
      • Boat launches and fishing piers
      • Highland Park disc golf course
      • Phalen, Como, and Highland National golf courses and the Highland driving range
      • Paddle Share at Pickerel Lake
      • Wheel Fun Rentals at Como Lakeside Pavilion (May 23)
    • Help us keep our outdoor spaces open for all to enjoy:
      • Stay at least six feet away from park users who are not part of your household. If this is not possible, find an alternate location or depart that space.
      • If it is not possible to maintain social distancing throughout an activity then you should only participate in that activity with members of your household.
      • Do not gather in groups of more than 10 people.
      • Avoid contact with shared amenities such as picnic tables and benches. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer if you do come in contact with shared amenities.
      • Do not use parks or trails if you are sick or are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath. 
      • Do not use parks or trails if you are at a higher risk of illness. 
      • Follow all CDC and State of MN outdoor recreation guidelines.
      • Regular park rules and regulations
      • Parks and trails are subject to regular closures for flooding, construction, or maintenance.
        Visit www.stpaul.gov/parks-covid19 for additional details and the latest updates.

May 21, 2020

  • Pay It Forward Business Mentorship Program - The Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce, SCORE Saint Paul, the City of Saint Paul, Ramsey County, African Economic Development Solutions, Hmong American Partnership, Latino Economic Development Center, Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers, Neighborhood Development Center, and other partners have launched a call for volunteers to serve as business mentors for a new Pay It Forward Program. Leveraging an existing business mentor model developed by SCORE Saint Paul, Pay It Forward will engage an array of volunteers with financial and business experience to support local business owners who need assistance in navigating COVID-19 grant and loan relief opportunities.
    • Business Mentor Volunteers. Pay it Forward Business Mentor Volunteers are community members with business and financial experience who can help support businesses who need assistance to navigate COVID-19 grant and loan relief opportunities. Community members who can speak Hmong, Somali, Oromo, Spanish, and Karen are encouraged to apply to ensure everyone in our community can access this resource. Those who are interested can apply now.
    • Assistance for Businesses. Pay It Forward Business Mentor program helps businesses navigate COVID-19 grant and loan relief opportunities at no cost. Learn more and apply at saintpaulchamber.com/payitforward.

May 20, 2020

  • Testing site locations added to City's interactive COVID-19 map. Find testing site locations from the Minnesota Department of Health now including in the City's interactive map. In addition to testing sites, you can also find information about special road closures, free meal site locations, PPE donation sites, and more.
  • Saint Paul Parks and Recreation was was named the #3 park system in the nation by the Trust for Public Land. This achievement marks the 6th consecutive year that Saint Paul has ranked in the top 3 on the “ParkScore” index, a recognition we can all take pride in.
  • Governor Walz announced the details of Stay Safe MN PHASE II, which will allow bars and restaurants to open for patio and outdoor service with some restrictions, and personal services to open with modifications. The State has created a chart that outlines Minnesota's phased in approach to reopening various business and social settings. Facial coverings are strongly recommended at all times, and all non-Critical Sector businesses are required to have adopted and implemented a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan.

May 19, 2020

  • The Small Business Administration's Paycheck Protection Program is still accepting loan applications for small businesses impacted by COVID-19. Funding can be used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. Learn more and apply now at sba.gov/paycheckprotection.
  • Resources for Safely Returning to Work Under #StaySafeMN. As we continue the process of reopening our economy and returning more Minnesotans to work, we must continue social distancing practices to save lives and stay safe. The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development has developed a guide to support businesses during this new phase of the response.

May 18, 2020

  • The City of Saint Paul’s Department of Safety and Inspections has created an online tool that will help small business owners easily calculate 50% retail occupancy capacity based on total square footage. Effective May 18, 2020, all retail stores, malls and other businesses that sell, rent, maintain and repair goods can reopen for in-person sales as long as they:
    • Have adopted and implemented a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan, including social distancing guidelines for workers and customers. 
    • Allow no more than 50% of the establishment's occupant capacity inside at any time. 
    • The orders, based on public health guidance, rely on voluntary compliance by business owners. City of Saint Paul staff are prepared to provide information and guidance to owners as needed to ensure the safety and health of all their workers and customers.
    • Learn more about the Governor's Stay Safe MN order here.
  • Mayor Carter’s Executive Order 2020-05 regulating skyway hours has been extended. The order, originally set to expire effective May 19 and extended on April 24, allows building owners connected to the Saint Paul skyway system to reduce daily hours of operation for their skyway section to 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
    • The order allows downtown residents and essential workers to continue to move between buildings and access facilities during typical business hours amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The order remains in effect until June 3 or the end of the declared local emergency.
    • To reduce skyway hours within their buildings, property owners must post signage noting the new temporary operating hours of that section of the skyway. Downloadable signs are available by clicking here: Skyway Hours Sign. 
    • For information, call 651-266-8989 or email DSI-InformationAndComplaints@ci.stpaul.mn.us.
  • Summer Camps and Activities Survey - Your input is valuable in helping Saint Paul Parks and Recreation navigate demand for summer programming options and understand the comfort level of participants. Take the Summer Camps and Activities Survey to help the City learn more about your summer plans.
  • Introducing "Rec Reimagined": Virtual and Alternative Programs. In order to help you stay connected, healthy, and active during this time, Saint Paul Parks and Recreation has launched a new webpage where you can stay up-to-date with all of the digital and alternative programming options. Visit www.stpaul.gov/rec-reimagined for the latest virtual programs, activity ideas, and other ways to live an active lifestyle and stay connected to nature in our parks, at home, and in your own back yard.

May 15, 2020

  • Following CDC guidance, effective Monday, May 18, Metro Transit will require face coverings (masks, tightly woven cotton, bandanas and scarves are acceptable) while riding buses/trains. Children under age 2, and those who have trouble breathing or are unable to remove the face covering without assistance are exempt.Service cannot be denied and customers will not be removed if they are not wearing a face covering. For details on Metro Transit’s policy, visit metrotransit.org/face-coverings-required-on-buses-trains.
  • The University of Minnesota Extension Family Resiliency Educators are offering free webinars to support families and workers impacted by COVID-19. Click here to see a full list of offerings

May 14, 2020

  • The Board of Water Commissioners has directed Saint Paul Regional Water Service to extend the suspension of water shut-offs for an additional 60 days. This decision was reached at the Tuesday, May 12 Board of Water Commissioners meeting, bringing the suspension of water shut offs to mid-July.
  • Today, Governor Tim Walz signed Executive Order 20-57, authorizing and directing the Commissioner of Education to provide a safe and effective summer learning environment for Minnesota’s students. Minnesota’s public school districts and charter schools will have the option to offer summer learning through a hybrid model of distance learning and in-school learning, or to continue distance learning.
    • Executive Order 20-57 will offer schools the flexibility for some in-person instruction if they are in compliance with Department of Health (MDH) guidelines on masking, social distancing, personal hygiene, screening, and cleaning, and adhere to MDH’s guidance for summer programs.
  • Saint Paul Public Library is launching a new Virtual Musical Residency with multi-talented Saint Paul resident Lucy Michelle on Facebook. Lucy will be offering original performances beginning tomorrow, Friday, May 15 with a four-song set. Following weeks will feature more unique performances as her online residency continues. She’ll also be sharing some of her favorite book and music selections available from our library collection.
  • City of Saint Paul and Community Partners Launch Call For Volunteers to Serve as Business Mentors in New Pay It Forward Business Mentor Program. Today, the Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce, SCORE Saint Paul, the City of Saint Paul, Ramsey County, African Economic Development Solutions, Hmong American Partnership, Latino Economic Development Center, Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers, Neighborhood Development Center, and other partners launched a call for volunteers to serve as business mentors for a new Pay It Forward Program. Leveraging an existing business mentor model developed by SCORE Saint Paul, Pay It Forward will engage an array of volunteers with financial and business experience to support local business owners who need assistance in navigating COVID-19 grant and loan relief opportunities.
    • Business Mentor Volunteers. Pay it Forward Business Mentor Volunteers are community members with business and financial experience who can help support businesses who need assistance to navigate COVID-19 grant and loan relief opportunities. Community members who can speak Hmong, Somali, Oromo, Spanish, and Karen are encouraged to apply to ensure everyone in our community can access this resource. Those who are interested can apply now.
    • Assistance for Businesses. The Pay It Forward Business Mentor program helps businesses navigate COVID-19 grant and loan relief opportunities at no cost. Learn more and apply at saintpaulchamber.com/payitforward.

May 13, 2020

  • Request an absentee ballot for August and November elections. Voting by mail is safe, easy and convenient. All voters can vote early in Minnesota. You do not need to provide a reason to vote by mail. You can request your ballot now for both the state primary and general election.  
    • First, register to vote or check your registration status on the Minnesota Secretary of State website.
    • Request an absentee ballot here.
    • Voted ballots must be received by the Elections Office before 3 p.m on Tuesday, Aug.11 for the state primary and before 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 3 for the general election.
  • The Twin Cities Hospitality and Events Workers’ Relief Fund supports workers who have lost income due to business closures and event cancellations related to the COVID-19 outbreak. Learn more at https://www.twincitieshospitalityfund.org/.
  • Find the latest Ramsey County data about COVID-19 through a new digital dashboard on Open Ramsey County with detailed demographic information on a range of data.

May 12, 2020

  • The City of Saint Paul has created an interactive map with the latest information about the City’s response to COVID-19. Find information about special road closures, free meal service pickup locations, open Parks and Recreation amenities, and more in one convenient location.
  • The Highland Park disc golf course has reopened. Please help us keep the course open by:
    • Staying 6 feet away from anyone outside your household.
    • Not forming groups.
    • Washing your hands before and after visiting the park.
    • Using your own discs.
    • Not touching the baskets or other player's discs.
    • Members of Parks and Recreation's R.E.C (Recreation Engagement Crew) will be visiting the course throughout the day to encourage players to follow the above guidelines to help keep the course safe and open for all to use. For more information, visit: www.stpaul.gov/parks-covid19#rec.

May 11, 2020

  • The Minnesota Department of Health is encouraging anyone with symptoms to get tested for COVID-19. Visit the State’s website to discover what the symptoms are of COVID-19 and what you should do if you're sick, use the screening tool to determine if you should get tested, and find a testing location near you.
  • May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Saint Paul Public Library has compiled a list of websites, videos, articles, mobile apps, and more, on subjects such as anxiety, self-care, and mindfulness. All resources are free, but some include for-profit content. Inclusion in this guide does not necessarily imply library endorsement. Learn more at guides.sppl.org/wellness.
  • Home Energy Squad now offering free Virtual Home Energy Visits. As people in Minnesota continue to stay home during the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s a new option to help residential customers become more energy efficient and save on their energy bills. Through the new online-only visits, Home Energy Squad continues to help energy customers identify their most cost-effective opportunities for energy savings, combined with advice and planning for future projects to save even more when the time is right. In Minnesota, Home Energy Squad is provided by Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy, supported by participating cities, and delivered by the Center for Energy and Environment (CEE).

May 8, 2020

  • Get help with rent, mortgage, and utility payments with Ramsey County's Emergency Assistance program.
    • Emergency Assistance (EA) helps adults with children, and pregnant women.
    • Emergency General Assistance (EGA) helps adults without children.
    • EA and EGA help with shelter, such as past due rent, a damage deposit, or to stop foreclosure. EA and EGA also help pay for utilities, when there is threat of disconnection. Utilities include electricity, heat, and water.
    • In general, if you have not had EA/EGA help in the last 12 months, and you do not have enough resources to resolve your crisis, you may be eligible. You must show you have enough income to pay bills moving forward.
    • If you ARE receiving public assistance (SNAP, healthcare, or cash assistance through Ramsey County), call your caseworker or 651-266-4444 for an application. There is a short application for clients with active cases.
    • If you ARE NOT not receiving public assistance, you can apply for EA/EGA online at applymn.dhs.mn.gov.
    • For questions about eligibility or application status, call the EA/EGA hotline at 651-266-4884 or visit https://www.ramseycounty.us/residents/assistance-support/assistance/financial-assistance/emergency-assistance
  • Minnesotans who lost their driver’s license or ID card, or had it stolen, can now apply for a duplicate card while the Department of Public Safety Driver and Vehicle Services (DPS-DVS) exam stations are closed. There are two options:
    • Deputy registrar and driver’s license agent offices can accept duplicate driver’s license and ID card applications that do not require a photo at their office. No face-to-face transactions are available, so offices are offering this in a way where you do not physically enter the building.
    • If a local office isn’t offering this service, DPS-DVS can send a photo receipt and letter to serve as a temporary replacement for a lost driver’s license or ID card while exam stations are closed to Minnesotans who submit the request.
    • More information, including instructions, is on the DVS COVID-19 FAQ webpage.
  • State leaders announce guidance for graduation ceremonies. The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE), Office of Higher Education and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) have released guidance for schools regarding graduation ceremonies.
    • This guidance was developed jointly between the three departments and outlines some specific activities that schools should or should not do.
    • The top recommendation is for schools to hold a ceremony that can be conducted remotely and ensure attendees do not need to leave their homes, like a virtual ceremony.
    • While the guidelines do not allow for a gymnasium or football field gathering, it does provide public health guidance on what schools, colleges or universities would need to consider when contemplating a safe celebration outside of the home, such as a car parade or a parking lot ceremony.

May 7, 2020

  • Neighbors United Funding Collaborative (NUFC) is offering Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grants of $2,500 to small businesses/nonprofits within a half-mile of Allianz Field. Applications are due Monday, May 11. Apply and learn more at midwayunited.org/grant-process.
  • Saint Paul Parks and Recreation is partnering up with Minnesota Vikings fullback C.J. Ham to offer a home workout directly from his home to yours. C.J. demonstrates drills and skills you can do from your living room or yard. Watch the video.
  • REMINDER - Select basketball and tennis courts are being reopened as part of the Saint Paul Parks and Recreation Department’s Rec Engagement Crew (R.E.C) Pilot Program. The R.E.C. will be working in teams at the pilot program locations to educate and encourage park visitors to practice social distancing and other recommended public health directives. Courts are now open at the following sites:
    • Battle Creek Recreation Center
    • Cherokee Regional Park
    • Dunning Park
    • Eastview Park
    • Groveland Recreation Center
    • Hayden Heights Recreation Center
    • Homecroft Park
    • Langford Park Recreation Center
    • Mattocks Park
    • MLK Recreation Center
    • North Dale Recreation Center
    • Phalen Recreation Center
    • Rice Recreation Center
    • Saint Clair Park
    • West Minnehaha Recreation Center

May 6, 2020

  • UPDATED HOURS - Health Questions? Call 651-201-3920 or 1-800-657-3903. This is a state hotline staffed by Minnesota Department of Health and will be operating from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Saint Paul Public Library Social Worker offers phone support weekdays from 1-4 p.m. Get help with problem-solving, ask questions, find resources, or get support from a licensed social worker. Call 651-300-9305 or email ruby.rivera@wilder.org. Learn more at sppl.org.

May 5, 2020

  • Safe Summer Nights canceled. Due to the current COVID-19 situation, the Saint Paul Police Department is canceling the Safe Summer Nights cookouts that had been planned for June at the following locations:
    • June 11: Duluth and Case Recreation Center
    • June 18: McDonough Recreation Center
    • June 23: Bridge View School
    • June 25: MLK Recreation Center
  • Saint Paul Public Library Social Worker offers phone support weekdays from 1-4 p.m. Get help with problem-solving, ask questions, find resources, or get support from a licensed social worker. Call 651-300-9305 or email ruby.rivera@wilder.org. Learn more at sppl.org.

May 4, 2020

  • Select basketball and tennis courts are being reopened as part of the Saint Paul Parks and Recreation Department’s Rec Engagement Crew (R.E.C) Pilot Program. The R.E.C Pilot Program aims to safely begin reintroducing recreational amenities at Saint Paul parks. The program will take place at sites spaced throughout the City. The R.E.C. will be working in teams at the pilot program locations to educate and encourage park visitors to practice social distancing and other recommended public health directives. Find open court locations at stpaul.gov/parks-covid19.
  • Meal distribution continues this week for families in need. To address growing food insecurity in Saint Paul due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City is partnering with Youthprise , ArtsUs, and The Sanneh Foundation to provide free meal service through June 5 to Saint Paul families in need.
    • Tsim tsa pab kho cov zaub mov uas tsis muaj txhua hauv nroog Saint Paul vim COVID-19. Tsoom fwv Saint Paul koom tes nrog Youthprise, ArtsUs, thiab The Sanneh Foundation muab kev pab noj zaub mov pub dawb mus txog lub 6 hli ntuj, hnub tim 5, 2020 rau cov tsev neeg uas nyob hauv nroog Saint Paul.
    • Sababa Koronnaa vaayresiitin hanqina nyaataa hammaachaa jiru furuuf magaalaan ‘Saint Paul’ dhaabota akka ‘Youthprise’, ‘ArtsUs’, fi ‘The Sanneh Foundation’ jedhaman waliin nyaata tolaa hanga Waxabajjii (June) 5 tti maatii barbaadhaniif ni keenna.
    • Si wax looga qabto cunno yarida sii kordheysa ee ka jirta Saint Paul cudurka COVID-19 daraadeed. Magaalada waxay xiriir la sameysay Youthprise, ArtUs, iyo The Sanneh Foundation si ee u bixiyaan cunno bilash ah illaa Juun 5 oo loogu talagay qoysaska u baahan. Goobaha gaarsiinta way is badbadli doonan.
    • Para enfrentar la creciente inseguridad alimentaria en la ciudad de Saint Paul debido al Covid 19, la ciudad en colaboración con Youthprise, ArtsUs, y the The Sanneh Foundation está proveyendo servicios de comida GRATIS para familias de St Paul desde ahora y hasta el 5 de junio.

May 1, 2020

  • Pick up your car from the impound lot at no cost. All towing and storage charges for registered owners picking up their cars from the impound lots will be waived through May 6 at the Snow Lot and through May 8 at the Barge Channel Lot. Learn more at stpaul.gov/impound.
  • The City's Language Resource Line will transition to new hours. Interpreters will be available to answer questions in Hmong, Karen, Oromo, Somali, and Spanish Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Phone Number: 651-266-6000 Email: LanguageResources@ci.stpaul.mn.us
  • Minnesota African Coalition COVID-19 Taskforce (MACC-T) is a taskforce on COVID-19 by African immigrant Community Based Organization (CBO) leaders, business owners, professionals, executive leaders and representatives of African immigrant population in Minnesota. Learn more about MACC-T.

April 30, 2020

  • Stay at Home Order Extended Until May 18 - As the state continues to make progress in preparing for the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Tim Walz today extended the Stay Home Order in Minnesota until Monday, May 18. In an effort to get more Minnesotans back safely to work while the order remains in effect, the Governor announced that retail businesses and other non-critical businesses will resume operations with curbside pick-up. Also as part of his Executive Order today, Governor Walz strongly encouraged all Minnesotans to wear a manufactured or homemade mask at all times when they leave their homes to any place where social distancing is difficult. Learn more about the extension here.
  • The City of Saint Paul is committed to ensuring every Saint Paul resident fully realizes fair housing. The Department of Human Rights and Equal Economic Opportunity has made available frequently asked questions for renters rights during the COVID-19 pandemic. The FAQs are available in multiple languages. Residents can also contact HREEO if they have questions about their rental rights or believe they have been discriminated against. More information is available at www.stpaul.gov/humanrights.

April 29, 2020

  • Action needed for people receiving supplemental security income (SSI) with dependents and who do not file tax returns to receive $500 per child payment. Residents receiving SSI benefits who did not file 2018 or 2019 taxes, and have qualifying children under age 17, should immediately go to the IRS’s website and visit the Non-Filers: Enter Your Information section to provide their information. SSI recipients who have dependent children and did not file 2018 or 2019 taxes need to act by Tuesday, May 5, in order to receive additional payments for their eligible children quickly.
  • The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) has translated informational materials related to public charge rules. Earlier this year, DHS distributed an informational flyer about the public charge rule which provides contacts for free and confidential legal advice. DHS has recently translated the flyer into Hmong, Karen, Somali, and Spanish.
    • Important reminder: U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a notice that testing, treatment, and preventive care related to COVID-19 will not be included in public charge determinations.

April 28, 2020

  • Today, Mayor Carter announced a set of fine, fee and collection relief measures in response to the economic impact of COVID-19 affecting businesses and residents.
    • License fees reduced by 25% for all businesses named in Governor Walz’s Executive Order 20-04, including any subsequent clarifying orders. Businesses with a license renewal due before August 1, 2020 will also be provided a 90-day extension past their due date to pay their renewal without penalty.
    • All towing and storage charges are waived for vehicle owners reclaiming their cars from impoundment. Charges will be waived for vehicles in the snow impound lot through May 6 and the Barge Channel lot through May 8. This action has been implemented by the Mayor administratively.
    • Referrals to collection agencies for debts owed to the city that are 90 days past due will be temporarily suspended through June 30, 2020. Overdue invoices will continue to be tracked during this period but will not be sent to collections. This action has been implemented by the Mayor administratively.
    • Collection of street assessments that would be levied in 2020 will be delayed until 2021. The assessments that will be delayed include street reconstruction projects, seal coating, and mill & overlays. This action has been implemented by the Mayor administratively.
    • These measures come following other actions to support those most vulnerable including the Saint Paul Bridge Fund of Families and Small Businesses, the suspension of water shut-offs in, and requesting the suspension of evictions with the Ramsey County Sheriff.
  • May 1 is just around the corner and that means rent and mortgage payments are due. Find housing and rental assistance here.

April 27, 2020

  • Mayor Carter Announces Plan to Expand Meal Distribution to Families in Need. To address growing food insecurity in Saint Paul due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City is partnering with Youthprise, Arts-Us, and the Sanneh Foundation to provide free meal service through June 5 to Saint Paul families in need. Families with a minor child in the home will be eligible to pick up one meal bag per child per week. Each meal bag contains 7 dinner meals and 7 snacks including fresh fruits and vegetables, juice, a variety of sandwiches, crackers, cheese, milk, and more. The meal bags will be available for pick up at the following times and locations:
    • Tuesday and Thursday, 2-4 p.m.
      • El Rio Vista Community Center (Neighborhood House), 179 Robie St. E. 
      • McDonough Recreation Center, 1544 Timberlake Rd. 
      • Palace Recreation Center, 781 Palace Ave. 
    • Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1-4 p.m.
      • Conway Recreation Center (Sanneh Foundation), 2090 Conway St. 
    • Wednesdays and Fridays, 2-4 p.m.
      • Arlington Hills Community Center, 1200 Payne Ave. 
      • Rice Recreation Center, 1021 Marion St. 
      • Dunning Recreation Center (Arts-Us), 1221 Marshall Ave. 
        For residents who cannot safely travel to these sites, the City will offer a limited meal delivery service. Delivery locations will be identified on a rolling basis. The City’s meal service will supplement services provided by Saint Paul Public Schools, local food shelves, and other governmental partners. Learn more at stpaul.gov/parks-covid19.
  • The Small Business Administration (SBA) will resume accepting Paycheck Protection Program applications from participating lenders today, Monday, April 27. To learn more about the relief options available for your business, click here.

April 24, 2020

  • The City of Saint Paul is now accepting bulk and individual donations of personal protective equipment. The City of Saint Paul is extremely grateful for all of the community members who have expressed interest in donating personal protective equipment (PPE) to assist the City's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The City is currently accepting donations for some items. Donations must be in unopened, original packaging in accordance with approved medical standards.
    • The following items are currently being accepted by the City:
      • Masks (N95, surgical, procedural)
      • Disinfecting Wipes such as Clorox or Sani-Cloth wipes
      • Hand Sanitizer (At least 70% alcohol, Gel preferred)
      • Isolation or Surgical Gowns
      • Eye Protection (Safety Glasses or Goggles)
    • If you have supplies on this list in bulk quantities, please email Noel Nix at noel.nix@ci.stpaul.mn.us
    • If you have items on this list in non-bulk or individual items, please deliver the items to one our mobile collection sites at the following days and times:
      • Mondays between 2 to 6 p.m. - Allianz Field West Parking Lot near Snelling Ave.
      • Wednesdays between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. – Highland Park Community Center Parking Lot
      • Fridays between 8 a.m. and noon – Sears Parking Lot near Rice St. and University Ave.
  • Find COVID-19 testing locations with new state website. As part of the state’s effort to provide widespread, rapid COVID-19 testing, Governor Tim Walz today unveiled a new website to help Minnesotans find a testing location within their community. This testing collaborative now includes 127 clinics and health care facilities across the state.

April 23, 2020

  • Bridge Fund Grant Distribution Plan. Following the close of the applications on Sunday, April 19 at 5 p.m., all family and small business grant applicants were placed into a random selection process which assigned each application a random number for each program. The review and disbursement process will proceed in the coming days and weeks until all City funds and funds donated by the community are distributed.
  • Contactless drive-thru donation locations for statewide homemade mask drive. On Saturday, April 25 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saint Paul residents can deliver homemade masks to their local fire station. Four stations will offer contactless drive-thru donations:
    • Fire Station 1: 645 Randolph Ave., Saint Paul, MN 55102
    • Fire Station 4: 505 Payne Ave., Saint Paul, MN 55101
    • Fire Station 14: 111 Snelling Ave. N., Saint Paul, MN 55104
    • Fire Station 22: 225 Front Ave., Saint Paul, MN 55117
    • All remaining stations will have drop boxes for donations.
  • Rental rehabilitation loan program: Receive assistance to preserve existing affordable rental housing in Saint Paul.

April 22, 2020

  • Mayor Carter announces the closure of the southbound lane of Mississippi River Boulevard to allow for more social distancing for pedestrians and bicyclists. Beginning tomorrow, April 23, Mississippi River Boulevard and East River Road will only allow northbound vehicle traffic from Ford Parkway to Franklin Avenue.
    • In accordance with the Governor’s Stay at Home Executive Order 20-20, Saint Paul continues to follow all public health and safety guidelines to support people safely enjoying the outdoors and public spaces.
    • The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board recently implemented a lane restriction of West River Parkway from 46th Ave. S. to 11th Ave. S. on the western side of the Mississippi River.
  • Starting today, Parks and Recreation will begin a three-month trail reconstruction project at Indian Mounds Regional Park. During the project, lanes or full sections of Mounds Boulevard will be closed to vehicle traffic, but open to pedestrians and bicyclist to recreate while following social distancing guidelines during construction. Sections of trails and greenspaces within the park will be closed to the public for safety reasons during the three phases of the project. See the tentative closure timelines at www.stpaul.gov/IndianMoundsTrail
  • DIY Citywide Spring Cleanup. Join Saint Paul Parks and Recreation in celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day with a DIY Citywide Spring Cleanup! This celebration will run the entire month of April with your own independent parks and trails trash cleanup. Follow these easy steps:
    • Bring your own trash bags and gloves from home.
    • Find a local park or trail.
    • Pick up trash while maintaining at least a 6ft distance from anyone not in your household.
    • Dispose of the bag in your own trash bin at home or place next to a park trash bin.
    • Celebrate what you have done for the Earth by sharing your cleanup photos with #CitywideCleanup to encourage your friends and family to participate.

April 21, 2020

  • Important deadline for Federal Economic Impact Payments. Individuals who receive Social Security retirement, survivors, or disability insurance (i.e. SSDI) benefits must visit the IRS' website and submit payment information by TOMORROW, Wednesday, April 22, in order to receive $500 checks for their dependent or qualifying children.
    • Individuals who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) need to take this action by later this month; a specific date will be available soon.
  • With Saint Paul Public Library closed due to COVID-19, some library staff members have been redeployed to help with the city's pandemic response. Read the story in the Star Tribune.
  • The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has compiled guidelines for outdoor recreational activities during the COVID-19 pandemic, based upon Governor Walz’s Executive Order 20-38 Allowing for Safe Outdoor Recreation. The guidelines address public health protection measures for both authorized outdoor recreational facilities and the general public. For more information, visit DNR: COVID-19 Outdoor Recreation, Facilities and Public Guidelines.

April 20, 2020

  • Applications are closed for the Saint Paul Bridge Fund. Applications are under review and community members can now donate to the Saint Paul Bridge Fund on GiveMN. Donations will increase the number of families and small businesses that receive funds through the program.
  • In accordance with Governor Walz's Executive Order 20-38, Como, Phalen, and Highland National Golf Courses are now open.
    • Golfers must maintain at least a 6ft distance from anyone outside their household at all times.
    • All courses are walking only. No golf cart rentals will be available.
    • Tee times must be made online before your visit; no walk-up play is allowed. Visit www.stpaul.golf to book a tee time.
    • Other restrictions and modifications apply.
    • The Highland driving range, Highland 9, and Highland disc golf course are closed. The driving range is expected to open the week of April 20.
    • At this time, sports courts including tennis and basketball remain closed. We are exploring ways to reopen sports courts with additional safety measures in place. We hope to begin reopening some locations as early as next week.
    • Playgrounds and buildings remain closed in accordance with public health guidelines. Parks, trails, open spaces, dog parks, and athletic fields remain open, with restrictions. For more information on our COVID-19 response and current park restrictions, visit www.stpaul.gov/parks-covid19.
  • The Saint Paul Fire Department will participate in Governor Walz’s statewide homemade mask drive. On Saturday, April 25 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saint Paul residents can deliver homemade masks to their local fire station.
    • SPFD will then deliver the masks to communities most at risk from COVID-19, including local congregate living facilities for their employees and residents to wear.
    • While these masks don’t replace medical-grade personal protective equipment, cloth masks help keep the wearer’s germs from getting on other people, which is key to stopping the spread of COVID-19.
    • If you are planning to participate in the mask drive, here are some helpful example design guides and patterns:
    • Bulk Mask Tutorial: https://youtu.be/FW1TCQDN4do
    • Hand Sewn Masks: https://youtu.be/31CBnLw6wDU
    • Hand Sewn Masks without elastic: https://youtu.be/sFMc7IvkrYw
  • State law now permits temporary sales of beer and wine with to-go food orders from restaurants and bars. Governor Tim Walz noted on Friday this is an important step to provide relief for local restaurants, which have had to close during the COVID-19 pandemic and allows residents to support their favorite local businesses. The measure, supported by both parties, took effect Saturday, April 18.
  • Saint Paul Public Schools Meal Service Updates. Starting Monday, April 20, SPPS will no longer have bus stop deliveries. Instead, SPPS will start weekly home meal delivery to SPPS families who are in need of food for their children. Meals are only for kids ages 18 and under, or those with a disability enrolled in a school program. Please continue to check spps.org/covidmeals for the most up-to-date information about meals, including pickup times and locations.

April 17, 2020

  • Governor Tim Walz today issued Executive Order 20-38, which expands allowable outdoor recreational activities. The changes will allow Minnesotans to continue to enjoy the outdoors close to home while following social distancing guidelines.
  • Federal Economic Impact Payments will be distributed automatically to most people. Eligible taxpayers who filed tax returns for either 2019 or 2018 and chose direct deposit of their refund will automatically receive an Economic Impact Payment of up to $1,200 for individuals or $2,400 for married couples and $500 for each qualifying child.
  • The City of Saint Paul's Department of Human Rights and Equal Economic Opportunity has prepared a new COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions as well as a business resources page regarding the City's Earned Sick and Safe Time ordinance. If you have additional questions, call 651-266-8966 or email laborstandards@ci.stpaul.mn.us.

April 16, 2020

  • Light rail suspended 9 p.m.- 6 a.m. beginning April 18. Metro Transit is making an additional service adjustment to its METRO light rail schedule to focus limited resources on times with the greatest demand by essential riders. Metro Transit will suspend all nightly light rail service between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. This new adjustment will go into effect Saturday, April 18, beginning at 6 a.m.
  • Save Small Business Fund. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation – in partnership with Vistaprint and a coalition of supporting companies, foundations, and philanthropic donors – has launched the Save Small Business Fund. The Fund will provide $5,000 grants to help as many businesses as possible meet their most pressing needs -- from rent, making payroll, or for overall business operations.

April 15, 2020

  • Saint Paul Bridge Fund applications for families and small businesses are now available in Hmong, Karen, Oromo, Somali, and Spanish. Apply by 5 p.m. on April 19 at http://stpaul.gov/bridge-fund. If you have questions about the application or guidelines, or want help applying please call (651) 266-6565. Staff are available to help who speak English, Hmong, Spanish, Somali, Oromo and Karen.
    • Daim ntawv thov Pob Nyiaj Pab Txhawb Hauv Saint Paul (Saint Paul Bridge Fund) tau qhib lawm. Pob Nyiaj Pab Txhawb Hauv Saint Paul (Saint Paul Bridge Fund): yog kev pab thaum muaj xwm txheej ceev rau cov tsev neeg thiab cov lag luam me ua tau nraug cuam tshuam ntau los ntawm tus kab mob COVID-19. Thov ua ntawv thov kev pab ua ntej lub 4 Hlis Ntuj tim 19 rau nram stpaul.gov/bridge-fund.
    • Iyyatni gargaarsa atattamaa maallaqaa ‘Saint Paul Bridge Fund’ irraa maatii fi daldala xixiqqaaf sababa ‘COVD-19 ‘ kennamu amma banaa dha. Hanga Ebla (April) 19, 2020 tti marsariitii kan irratti iyyata galfadha stpaul.gov/bridge-fund.
    • Foomamka Sanduuqa Buundada maal ee Saint Paul hada way furanyihiin: waa gargaarka degdeg ah ay loogu talagalay qoysaskaka iyo ganacsiyada yaryar ee saameeyay COVID-19. Xiriirkan ka buuxso ilaa April 19 stpaul.gov/bridge-fund.
    • Ya está abierta la aplicación para el Fondo de Ayuda Puente de Saint Paul: Asistencia de emergencia para familias y pequeños negocios que han sido impactados por el COVID-19. Aplique antes del 19 de Abril el sitio web: stpaul.gov/bridge-fund.
    • The application is also available in Karen.

April 14, 2020

  • WIC (Women, Infants and Children) is a supplemental food, nutrition and breastfeeding program that helps eligible pregnant women, new mothers, babies and young children eat well, learn about nutrition and stay healthy. Saint Paul – Ramsey County Public Health continues to offer WIC services to eligible families with children up to age five. Please call 651-266-1300 to apply for WIC.
  • Saint Paul Public Library launches Little Learners @ Home featuring online programming throughout the week to keep you and your family engaged and connected through stories, songs, movement and more! Learn more at sppl.org/little-learners and check back weekly for new content.

April 13, 2020

  • Saint Paul residents are taking the time to do extra spring cleaning both inside and out right now. Here’s some good tips and resources to properly dispose of materials, including large bulky items, household hazardous waste and yard waste. Learn more at www.stpaul.gov/garbage.
    • Residents can pay to drop off large items at area transfer stations.
    • Household organics and food scraps will continue to be composted by Ramsey County. Find drop-off locations and hours.
    • Properly dispose of all Household Hazardous Waste by dropping items off at Ramsey County’s free hazardous waste sites.
    • Residents in 1-4 unit properties can put yard waste in a compostable bag and collected by your garbage hauler for $3 per bag, plus tax (please call your garbage hauler). To find your garbage hauler contact information at stpaul.gov/garbage.
    • Yard waste can also be dropped off at Ramsey County’s yard waste sites.
    • Donations of gently used but good items have temporarily been suspended at many collection sites. Please check with the organization before planning to drop any items off. Find more information here.

       


April 10, 2020

  • Today, Mayor Carter announced the launch of a GiveMN donation website for community members to donate to the Saint Paul Bridge Fund to increase the number of families and small businesses that receive through the program.
    • The City of Saint Paul launched applications for the Saint Paul Bridge Fund on Wednesday, April 9, and submissions will be accepted through 5 p.m. on Sunday, April 19.
    • In the first 48 hours, more than 3,000 people applied for the Saint Paul Bridge Fund for Families, and more than 1,200 businesses applied for the Saint Paul Bridge Fund for Businesses.
  • A limited number of hotel beds are available now through Monday, April 27 for unsheltered youth who are ages 18-24. To request a room, youth can call the Salvation Army Shelter Line 10 a.m. -10 p.m. any day of the week at 651-444-5757.
  • Mayor Carter has issued Executive Order 2020-05 allowing building owners connected to the Saint Paul skyway system to reduce daily hours of operation for their skyway section to 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. The order allows downtown residents and essential workers to continue to move between buildings and access facilities during typical business hours amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The order will remain in effect for 40 days.

    April 9, 2020

    • Saint Paul Regional Water Services will continue the suspension of water shut offs for an additional 30 days. Temporary water shut offs due to construction or emergency maintenance activities may continue during this time; water service will be restored as soon possible during these events. Learn more at stpaul.gov/water.

    April 8, 2020

    • Applications are now open for the Saint Paul Bridge Fund, which will provide emergency relief to families and small businesses. Apply by April 19 at 5 p.m. Learn more and apply at stpaul.gov/bridge-fund.
    • Governor Walz's stay at home order has been extended through May 3 at 11:59 p.m. What does this mean for residents? You can go to the grocery store, pharmacy, and medical appointments; get take out, delivery or drive through from restaurants; walk your dog, ride your bike, or be in nature; and pick up essentials for neighbors or loved ones. You should not go to work unless providing an essential service; socialize or gather in groups; or visit loved ones in the hospital or nursing homes, except under limited circumstances. Find more information about critical sector worker exemptions here.
    • Saint Paul Parks and Recreation is closing all playgrounds, sports courts – including tennis, basketball, and volleyball – and skate parks. We have seen an increase in demand for use of our recreational amenities and expect that trend to continue as we approach summer. We cannot ensure social distancing is maintained, so out of concern for public safety and in alignment with Governor Walz orders, we have made the decision to close these amenities.
      • Parks, trails, open spaces, dog parks, and athletic fields remain open, with restrictions, including 6 feet social distancing. No pickup games, contact sports, or organized teams are allowed.
      • Learn more about our park restrictions and COVID-19 response at https://stpaul.gov/parks-covid19.

    April 7, 2020

    • The annual Citywide Drop-Off events, originally scheduled for June 6 and 20 have been canceled. Saint Paul continues to work with district councils to plan and prepare for the September Citywide Drop-Off Events. For more information and updates, visit stpaul.gov/drop-offs.
    • Spring Cleaning: Proper Disposal and Recycling Tips and Resources. Governor Walz’s “Stay at Home” order has many Saint Paul residents taking the time to do extra “spring cleaning” both indoors and out. Here are a few helpful recycling and disposal resources:
      • Make sure all materials fit into your garbage or recycling carts.
      • Depending on the size of the garbage cart, residents in 1-4 unit properties can have two or three free bulky items collected at no additional cost. If you have large, bulky items to dispose of, please call your garbage hauler to schedule pick up. Learn more at stpaul.gov/bulky.
      • Residents can drop off acceptable recyclable materials, including large, flattened cardboard at Saint Paul’s recycling Drop-Off Center. Find location and hours here.
      • Residents can pay to drop of large items at area transfer stations. For a list of locations and hours visit Ramsey County's website.
      • Learn how to properly recycle or dispose of many items with Ramsey County’s “A to Z Disposal Guide."
    • Computers and internet access are near-essentials today, especially in a time of social distancing. Saint Paul Public Library has compiled some local resources that can help with home internet access and computer hardware.

    April 6, 2020

    • The Center for Disease Control (CDC) now recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies). CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. If you are not having any symptoms and are going out in public, wearing a cloth face covering will help you from spreading any infection. If you do wear a cloth face covering, the CDC notes it is important to wash it every day to get rid of any trapped viruses or bacteria.
    • Anyone who is sick during the COVID-19 crisis should seek medical care without fear, regardless of immigration status or ability to pay for health services. It is important that everyone in Saint Paul including non-citizen residents regardless of immigration status obtaining medical care should they become ill. Find more information related to COVID-19 that impact immigrant and refugee communities in Hmong, Karen, Oromo, Somali, and Spanish.
    • State Financial Assistance for Veterans. Starting today, the Minnesota Department of Veterans is accepting applications from Minnesota veterans who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. MDVA will award one-time financial relief grants in the amount of $1,000. Funding is available for both Disaster Relief Grants and Special Needs Grants.
      • To apply for the Disaster Relief Grant: Contact your local County Veterans Service Officer (CVSO) or MDVA Field Operations Representative at FO.MDVA@state.mn.us OR apply online at MinnesotaVeteran.org/COVIDRelief.
      • To apply for the Special Needs Grant: Contact your local County Veterans Service Officer or MDVA Field Operations Representative. 
      • To identify or contact your local CVSO, visit MACVSO.org. For more information, visit MinnesotaVeteran.org/COVIDRelief.
    • State Discrimination Helpline now available. Amid rising reports of discrimination from the Asian American community, Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan today launched a Discrimination Helpline to reinforce the state’s efforts to protect the civil rights of Minnesotans during the COVID-19 pandemic. The toll-free helpline, which is at 1-833-454-0148, will allow those who experience or witness bias and discrimination to report incidents to the Minnesota Department of Human Rights. The helpline is staffed Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
    • FEMA has extended the current 30-day grace period for National Flood Insurance Premium (NFIP) payments. If a policy insuring a property has an expiration date of February 13, 2020 through June 15, 2020, property owners must pay their premium within 120 days of the expiration date to avoid a lapse in coverage. For more information visit: https://www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program.

    April 3, 2020

    Road Closures Infographic

    The City will temporarily close portions of three city streets to vehicle traffic to accommodate social distancing guidelines for residents who are walking and biking near some of Saint Paul’s parks and lakes. Beginning this evening, April 3, the following streets will be closed to vehicle traffic until further notice.

    • Como Regional Park: East Como Lake Drive from East Como Boulevard to Lexington Parkway
    • Phalen Regional Park: East Shore Drive from Johnson Parkway to Arlington Avenue
    • Cherokee Regional Park: Cherokee Heights Boulevard from Baker/Chippewa to Annapolis

    “We encourage our residents to enjoy Saint Paul’s great parks and public spaces responsibly,” said Saint Paul Mayor Melvin Carter. “We need to each do our part to work together as a community to follow all recommended guidelines which includes staying least 6 feet apart from other people, especially in public spaces.”

    In accordance with Governor Walz “Stay at Home” Executive Order 20-20, Saint Paul continues to follow all public health and safety guidelines to support people safely enjoying the outdoors and public spaces.

    The Saint Paul Parks and Recreation Department has made several changes to its programs, services and operations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. For the latest Saint Paul Parks and Recreation updates, please visit www.stpaul.gov/parks-covid19.


    April 2, 2020

    • Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program. Businesses should be planning their requests to the new Paycheck Protection Program. The program goes live tomorrow, Friday, April 3. Businesses (including self-employed) and non-profits can receive forgivable loans up to 250% of payroll to support employees and occupancy expenses.
    • Spring flooding update. The City of Saint Paul continues to monitor the Mississippi River water levels, which are forecasted to be at a moderate flood stage level this weekend. Due to flooding, Saint Paul is closing some roads and access to parks:
      • Road Closures
        • On April 1, the current road closure on Water Street closure was extended from the Pool & Yacht Club in Lilydale to underneath the High Bridge.
        • On Friday, April 3, from 6 a.m.-9 p.m. westbound Warner Road will be temporarily closed from Sibley Street to Ontario Street to allow Saint Paul Public Works to build a levee around an underground pump station.
        • On Friday, April 3, Fourth Street between Willius Street and Commercial Street will close until further notice.
      • Park Closures
        • Meeker Island Dog Park
        • Hidden Falls North and South Gates
        • Lilydale & Hidden Falls Boat Launches
      • To find additional resources and information on spring flooding, visit www.stpaul.gov/flooding.

    April 1, 2020

    • Saint Paul Public Library will offer contactless pick-up starting tomorrow. Saint Paul Public Library is now offering a convenient, safe, and personalized way to access print books, magazines, movies, and more while the library is closed. Starting April 2, patrons can use contactless pick-up at five locations--George Latimer Central, Highland Park, Merriam Park, Rondo, and Sun Ray libraries.
    • Don't have a library card? You can apply online for an e-card for access to the library's e-materials, including e-books, e-audiobooks, and digital magazines.

    March 31, 2020

    • Today, Mayor Carter announced the expansion of the Saint Paul Bridge Fund Proposal through philanthropic and corporate support that brings the proposed fund to $3.85 million for families and small businesses impacted by COVID-19.
      • Philanthropic and corporate supporters include John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Ecolab Foundation, Securian Foundation, Minnesota United FC, Minnesota Wild, the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation, and Xcel Energy.
    • The Mississippi River water levels in Saint Paul are rising. To learn more about spring flooding in Saint Paul and stay updated with any potential street, parks or trail closures, visit stpaul.gov/flooding.
    • Saint Paul Parks and Recreation play areas remain open. Like other outdoor activities, going to a playground is allowed under the State of Minnesota’s stay at home order. Families and guardians should be careful to ensure children wash hands before and after touching play structures and maintain six feet of space from other children.
    • Basketball courts and other self-directed outdoor recreation facilities remain open for public use. Tennis courts are now in the process of being opened for the season. We ask that all park visitors follow the CDC’s recommended six foot social distancing practices and other guidelines for park visitors on our website.
    • Fare Well Food Truck to Serve Hot Lunches During Spring Break. A group of local chefs from some of Saint Paul's most popular restaurants are coming together to serve hot lunches to Saint Paul Public Schools families during spring break. The Fare Well Food Truck will serve meals at the following schools this week, starting at 11 a.m. each day until all food has been served:
      • Central High School on Wednesday, April 1
      • American Indian Magnet School on Thursday, April 2
      • Chelsea Heights Elementary School on Friday, April 3
      • For more information about SPPS meal service and additional community food resources during spring break, visit spps.org/Page/38722.

    March 30, 2020

    • Residential Spring Street Sweeping Begins March 30. Saint Paul’s annual residential spring street sweeping begins on Monday, March 30 through May. To help the sweeping efforts on all residential streets, please:
      • Follow all “No Parking” signs, which will be posted 24 hours in advance. Please move all vehicles off the streets.
      • Do NOT sweep additional garbage, dirt, or leaves in the streets.
      • Do NOT put garbage and recycling carts in the streets. Please keep all carts on the boulevard.
    • The Saint Paul Regional Water Service is flushing hydrants this week. Flushing maintains the high quality of your water.
    • Signage is now available to business owners for temporary curbside pick-up. Restaurants will be able to post temporary signs for curbside pick-up areas without applying for and paying the usual permit and fees.
    • All Saint Paul Public Library programs and events (with the exception of some programs offered online) are canceled through Sunday, May 10; all library locations remain closed. The library is offering modified services. Learn more at sppl.org/staying-in.
    • The monthly statewide Emergency Alert System test and tornado siren activation will occur as normally scheduled this Wednesday, April 1.

    March 29, 2020

    • LANGUAGE RESOURCE LINE
      The City of Saint Paul has a new phone line and email address to answer questions about the City’s response to the COVID-19 coronavirus. Interpreters are available to answer questions in Hmong, Karen, Oromo, Somali, and Spanish. Learn more at stpaul.gov/coronavirus.
      Phone Number: 651-266-6000
      Email: LanguageResources@ci.stpaul.mn.us

    March 27, 2020

    • STAY AT HOME EXECUTIVE ORDER GOES INTO EFFECT TONIGHT
      Governor Walz has ordered Minnesotans to limit movements outside of their home beyond essential needs starting tonight at 11:59 p.m. and ending at 5 p.m. on Friday, April 10. What does this mean for residents? You can go to the grocery store, pharmacy, and medical appointments; get take out, delivery or drive through from restaurants; walk your dog, ride your bike, or be in nature; and pick up essentials for neighbors or loved ones. You should not go to work unless providing an essential service; socialize or gather in groups; or visit loved ones in the hospital or nursing homes, except under limited circumstances. Find a list of frequently asked questions about the Governor's order here.
    • I-94 will close Friday, April 3 at 10 p.m. and reopen by Monday, April 6 at 5 a.m. Interstate 94 in Saint Paul will close next weekend between Highway 280 and Interstate 35E for work on Ramsey County’s Dale Street reconstruction project. Both eastbound and westbound I-94 will close at 10 p.m. on Friday, April 3, for removal of the northbound (east) side of the existing Dale Street bridge over I-94.
    • The Saint Paul Police Department Headquarters building, located at 367 Grove Street in Saint Paul, closed to the public at 4 p.m. Friday, March 27. It’s scheduled to re-open at 8 a.m. Monday, April 13. Access to the building will be restricted to police department employees and those involved in investigations.
    • All Trade Board Exams for the City of Saint Paul are postponed until the fall of 2020. Saint Paul Legislative Code Section 369.04 (c) allows for issuing a Temporary Certificate of Competency, under specific guidelines, and the City may consider this or other options as alternatives. Learn more here.
    • The City of Saint Paul still plans to celebrate Earth Hour on Saturday, March 28, from 8:30 - 9:30 p.m. We are asking all building owners and operators who want to switch off their lights for the hour, and can do so safely, to do so.

    March 26, 2020

    • Information about Mayor Carter's proposed $3.25 million Saint Paul Bridge Fund is now available in Hmong, Karen, Oromo, Somali, and Spanish.
    • All Saint Paul Parks and Recreation events, rentals, programs, and activities are canceled through Sunday, May 10. For additional information, visit www.stpaul.gov/parks-covid19.
    • Saint Paul is Supporting Restaurants with Temporary Curbside Pick-Up. Restaurants will be able to post temporary signs for curbside pick-up areas without applying for and paying the usual permit and fees. Learn more here.
    • Saint Paul’s City Hall Annex building will be closed to the general public by the end of the day tomorrow, March 27. The building will remain open to city staff, Street Fleet, US Mail, and for vendors who need to make deliveries or provide necessary building services.
    • Ramsey County and its partners will open Mary Hall - at the former Dorothy Day Center in downtown Saint Paul - as a respite facility for unsheltered single adults displaying symptoms of COVID-19 beginning Friday, March 27. The location will provide 24/7 symptom monitoring, meals, security and transportation to and from the site for individuals experiencing homelessness. Learn more here.

    March 25, 2020

    • Today, during a presentation to the Saint Paul City Council on the City’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mayor Carter announced the Saint Paul Bridge Fund, a proposed $3.25 million fund to provide emergency relief to small businesses and families. The proposal comes in response to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Saint Paul Public Schools: School meal pickup will be at six schools only, March 25-27 from 10-11:30 a.m. (or until all food is handed out). The schools include: Battle Creek Middle School, Cherokee Heights Elementary, Como Park Senior High School, Harding High. For times and more details, visit spps.org.
    • Metro Transit: Starting March 25, Metro Transit will be moving to a service schedule that represents about 60% of its regularly scheduled weekday operations. The agency also will continue its practice of suspending service during the overnight hours of 11 p.m. to 4:30 a.m.

    March 24, 2020

    • Department of Safety and Inspections (DSI) is adapting its services to align with public health official guidelines. Customers will be able to drop off paperwork and payments and pick up plans by using a drop box at our office at 375 Jackson Street, Ste. 220, Saint Paul. Please call 651-266-8989 before traveling downtown to determine if you need to come to our offices. We also encourage you to check out alternate ways to conduct your business with DSI online. Field inspections and complaint follow-ups are ongoing, in alignment with official public health guidance.
    • Saint Paul Regional Water Services’ drinking water treatment process effectively safeguards from viruses such as the flu virus and the coronavirus. Learn more here.
    • Join Saint Paul Public Library at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow, March 25 for storytime live on the library’s Facebook page.
    • Free Bulky Item Collection – Contact Your Garbage Hauler: With Spring cleaning underway, call your garbage hauler and schedule a collection time to properly get rid of large, unwanted bulky items. As part of the Citywide Garbage Services, each household gets 2 free items (or 3, depending on your cart size) collected per year at no additional charge. Learn more or see a full list of what they can collect at stpaul.gov/bulky.
    • The City has an ongoing need for local vendors that can provide supplies for the response to COVID-19. Small, minority, and women-owned businesses are encouraged to register with the City as a CERT-certified business. The CERT programs works to increase local small business participation in local public contracting opportunities. Learn more at StPaul.gov or call 651-266-8966.
    • The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) is creating an emergency loan program to help Minnesota small business owners who need immediate assistance to meet their families’ basic needs during COVID-19 closures. Small Business Emergency Loan Program by making available $30 million from special revenue funds. These dollars will be used by DEED’s lender network to make loans of between $2,500 and $35,000 for qualifying small businesses.

    March 18, 2020

    The following changes will occur to help minimize the spread of COVID-19 in our community:

    • Beginning next week, City Councilmembers will be able to participate in City Council meetings virtually by calling in to the meeting. The public will continue to be able to listen to all City Council business discussed online.
    • Any City Council agenda items that have the potential to have more than 10 people attend and are not considered essential, including agenda items with public hearings, will be postponed. While all public hearings that continue to happen will have a call-in function for public testimony, members of the public are strongly encouraged to submit their comments via email at contact-council@ci.stpaul.mn.us.
    • Unless they involve life safety concerns, all legislative hearings have been postponed.
    • City Council staff have been given authority to work remotely and are encouraged to do so to the greatest extent possible.

    To recap other actions of the City:

    • On Sunday, March 15, Mayor Carter declared a State of Local Emergency amid the spread of coronavirus COIVD-19.
    • The local emergency declaration permits Saint Paul Emergency Management to request and coordinate the appropriate aid and resources from surrounding jurisdictions, including the Ramsey County Division of Emergency Management, Homeland Security, and the State of Minnesota as needed. It also permits city departments to quickly mobilize available resources and conduct immediate purchasing and contracting.
    • The action of the Council this week extends the State of Local Emergency for 90 days.
    • The City of Saint Paul has also taken these actions:
      • All Library facilities are closed through March 27. Please hold onto your materials while the library is closed. Outdoor book drops are closed and returns will not be accepted until the library reopens. The due dates for all checked-out circulating materials have been extended to May 1, 2020.
      • All Saint Paul Parks and Recreation Center facilities — including the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory — will close to the public through March 27. City-managed playgrounds remain open.
      • In accordance with guidance issued by the CDC, the City of Saint Paul will not issue new permits that involve gatherings of 50 or more people.
      • Worker’s compensation coverage will be provided for Saint Paul Fire Fighters and Police Officers who are exposed to or contract COVID-19 on duty.
      • Mayor Carter has requested Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher suspend all evictions in the City of Saint Paul.
      • These measures follow the March 12th announcement that water shutoffs will be suspended for 30 days.
    • Public health information is available on the Ramsey County Public Health website, and the Minnesota Department of Health website.

    Updates from our Partners:

    Ramsey County to suspend non-emergency walk-up services through March 23.
    Hennepin County is closing all public-facing services at all 41 libraries, human service centers, and licensing service centers through April 6.
    Metro Transit is suspending all bus and train service between 11 p.m. and 4:30 a.m.


    March 16, 2020

    COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and Unemployment Benefits

    On March 16, 2020, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz issued an executive order to ensure workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic have full access to unemployment benefits. The executive order makes applicants eligible for unemployment benefits if:

    • A healthcare professional or health authority recommended or ordered them to avoid contact with others.
    • They have been ordered not to come to their workplace due to an outbreak of a communicable disease.
    • They have received notification from a school district, daycare, or other childcare provider that either classes are canceled or the applicant’s ordinary childcare is unavailable, provided that the applicant made reasonable effort to obtain other childcare and requested time off or other accommodation from the employer and no reasonable accommodation was available.

    Apply online here.


    March 12, 2020

    Mayor Carter announced March 12 that water shut-offs in Saint Paul will be suspended for 30 days. The Saint Paul Water Board will discuss extending the suspension at their April 14 meeting.