Staff Editorial: New law benefits fight against COVID-19

Emergency funds will help prepare for outbreak


Jayde Claussen

Patients check into Methodist Hospital March 10. As the spread of COVID-19 continues, lawmakers made the decision to invest over $20 million to plan a statewide response to protect Minnesotans. Through this funding, hospitals will be better equipped to handle the outbreak.

After the first case of COVID-19 in Minnesota was announced March 6, state lawmakers have decided to rush $20.89 million to help fund and plan a public health response to protect citizens from the virus. The bill was passed unanimously by the Senate and House, and Gov. Tim Walz signed it into law March 10. 

With the COVID-19 outbreak being labeled a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) March 11, the Echo Editorial Board applauds the Minnesota legislature for making a beneficial decision by allowing the transfer of funds to fight the spread of disease. Although $21 million is a large budget, it is crucial that we have enough funds to protect citizens if a larger outbreak occurs in Minnesota.

There is still much to be learned about preventing COVID-19 — including possible treatments and protective measures. Making sure the government is prepared to fund research projects and cover hospital expenses is vital to keep the population safe.

By using the allocated money, hospitals will be able to prepare for a possible outbreak of COVID-19 through access to more supplies, beds, equipment and staffing. With studies showing that up to 30% of hospitalized patients require intensive care, hospitals will benefit from as much extra preparation and funding as possible, as they currently do not have enough beds or funding to take care of a large amount of patients. 

We believe lawmakers should also begin to implement measures to inform the public on COVID-19. With rapidly developing issues like COVID-19, false information and panic are constant risks. By educating citizens on how COVID-19 is spread and how it is treated, residents will be more prepared and protected from contracting the virus.

The Echo Editorial Board urges Park students to stay aware and educated of the virus as the situation progresses, and asks students to wash their hands and avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth, as advised by WHO. By protecting ourselves, we will be protecting those around us and helping the fight against COVID-19.

We also ask for Minnesota legislators to continue monitoring the situation as it develops, and take note of how other states and countries are combating the spread of the virus. By using those around us as examples and learning from our peers, we will be able to adapt our plan to better contain and treat the possible spread of COVID-19.