Answers to the most frequently asked questions relevant to the Hmong community
HHCPC CORT FAQ sheet for COVID-19 - Website: Commonly asked questions from the Hmong Community
Q1. What can I do to protect my family from COVID-19?
A: We recommend following the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s guides to avoid being exposed to the virus. This means practice good hand washing, cover your cough or sneeze, stay home (also wear a mask) when sick, keep within 6 feet from another person outside of your home, and disinfect your frequently touched home surfaces.
Q2. Who is most at risk?
A: Based upon the most current information available to date, those at high-risk for severe illness from COVID-19 include:
People over 65 years old
People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility
People with high-risk conditions
Chronic lung disease
Moderate to severe asthma
Bone marrow or organ transplantation
Poorly controlled HIV or AIDS
Weakened immune systems from prolong use of medications such as corticosteroids
Anyone of any age who has a body mass index (BMI) over 40
Q3. How long do I need to stay home if I’m sick?
A: If you have symptoms such as fever, coughing, muscle aches, sore throat, and headache, you should stay home for at least 7 days and 3 days of no fever without using fever-reducing medicine.
Q4. Is there a lock down in MN?
A: Governor Tim Walz issued a Stay Home executive order that took effect at 11:59 PM on Friday, March 27th to end at 5:00 PM on Friday, April 10th “limiting activities to only those which are most essential and practicing social distancing at all times”. By limiting activities such as closure of dining restaurants, bars and non-essential places, it will help avoid the spread of COVID-19 in MN. People are urged to voluntarily comply with this order.
On April 13th, Governor Walz extended the Stay Home executive order until May 13, 2020.
Q5. What can I do during the Stay Home Executive Order?
A: Everyone can continue normal activities inside and within perimeters of their home. People can also leave their home such as to pick up items from work, groceries, prescriptions, attend work if the employer is deemed essential, get gas, walk around your block, go to a doctor’s appointment and move to a new house. Families can still do the following activities with precaution: Hu Plig, Ua Neej, attend funeral home/worship sites/burials, and assist care for others (PCA, Home making and babysit).
Other things you can do during the Stay Home Order can be clarified here: https://mn.gov/governor/assets/Exempted%20Activities%20Clarifications_tcm1055-425421.pdf
Q6. What does it mean to host or attend an event gathering such as funeral and burial services, church for worship, parties and religious ceremonies (Ua Neeb/Hu Plig) with precaution?
A: Hosting or attending gatherings with precaution must be considered to avoid and slow the spread of COVID-19. According to CDC recommendations, gatherings of 250 people in an outbreak area must be postponed or cancelled. MN recommends no more than gatherings of 50 people and for people who are considered at-risk, gatherings must be kept to a maximum of 10 people including active practices of social distancing (6 feet spacing between people).
During the emergency executive order directing Minnesotans to stay at home, individuals may leave home to attend funerals, whether at a place of worship, funeral home, burial site, or other similar locations, but should not have more than 10 people attending the event.
Q7. Can I still go to my medical or dental appointments?
A: Yes, proceed as you normally would for any scheduled appointments if your medical and dental clinics are still operational. Do call ahead of time to make sure that your clinics are still scheduling appointments or if they are only accepting emergency patients at this time.
Q8. What places are still open?
A: During the Stay Home executive order, all essential places such as banks drive through, grocery stores, convenience stores, liquor stores, gas stations, post offices, pharmacies, clinics, hospitals, shelters, food shelf sites and places that are deemed critical sectors are still open. If you are still unsure, it’s best to call to check if a specific place is still open.
Q9: Why are restaurants closed?
A: Not all restaurant kitchens are closed. However, Majority of restaurants with dine-in options are closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. You can still purchase food from some local restaurants for delivery, takeout, and/or curbside pickup.
Q10. What should I do about my travel plans?
A: Try to avoid all non-essential travels at this time. If you have domestic travel plans within the next couple of months, there are some things to consider to determine if you need to reschedule or cancel your travel. Do consider if your destination is an area where COVID-19 is affected, if you will be in close contact with others, live with someone who is at high-risk, and if you are able to take time off work in case you become ill or are told to stay home for 14 days.
Q11. How do I get help if I am experiencing domestic violence or abuse at home?
A: If your or a loved one’s life is in danger, call 911 immediately.
If you live in Hennepin County, you can make reports to Hennepin County Domestic Abuse Center Domestic Abuse Service Center Government Center, 300 South Sixth Street Minneapolis, MN 55487 612-348-5073. Website: www.mncourts.gov/district/4/?page=369
If you live in Ramsey County, you can make reports to Ramsey County Sexual Offense Services 1619 Dayton Ave. Saint Paul, MN 55104 Business line: 651-643-3022 24-hour crisis line: 651-266-1000. Website: www.co.ramsey.mn.us/ph/hs/sos.htm
Victims and survivors who need support can also contact the Minnesota DayOne Hotline by calling 1-866-223-1111 or text to 612-399-9995.
Q12. How do I report hate-crimes related to COVID-19?
A: Hate-crimes are all bias-related incidents and can include xenophobia behaviors (hatred/dislike of or prejudice of other people from other countries) that can lead to life threatening situations.
If you believe you have been discriminated against because of COVID-19, you can report it to the Minnesota Department of Human Rights by calling 651-539-113 or 1-800-657-3704. You can also report any discrimination via email at email@example.com or online at http://bit.ly/mdhrintake. Contact your local police department for all non-emergency incidents at 651-291-1111.
Q13: I noticed a sudden increase of cost for rice, noodles, and other items for sale. Is this normal?
A: Price gouging occurs when a seller increases sale items much higher than they reasonably are in the market. While it can be normal for this to happen during a time of emergency, in MN there has no law on price gouging. However, starting March 21st, 2020 at 5:00 p.m., Governor Tim Walz signed into effect an executive order banning price gouging and sellers may be penalized by the attorney general’s office.
If you noticed any unusual increase of cost, you can file a complaint online at www.ag.state.mn.us/office/complaint.asp to the attorney general’s office. Minnesotans can report instances of price gouging by calling 651-296-3353 (Inside Twin Cities) or (800) 657-3787 (Outside the Twin Cities) between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Q14. What should I know about worker protections and rights related to COVID-19?
A: The federal and state has laws to protect employees. Please visit http://www.dli.mn.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/MN_worker_protections_related_to_COVID_19.pdf if you need information about worker protections and rights related to COVID-19 such as:
Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
Federal Families First Corona Response Act (FFCRA)
Human rights for individuals who are disabled or experiencing flu-like symptoms
Protection for workers who contract or have been exposed to COVID-19
Changes to working conditions
Hours worked; hours paid
Workplace health and safety
Reporting health and safety concerns at work
Refusal to work rights
Q15. I have become unemployed or my hours are reduced due to the direct impact of the COVID-19 crisis. How will I pay my bills?
A: If you or someone you know have become unemployed or have work hours reduced due to the temporary closure of restaurants, bars and non-essential businesses, you can apply for unemployment insurance benefits according to the Executive Order 20-05 signed by Govenor Tim Walz on March 13th, 2020. All other finance concerns must be handled directly with the agencies of where your bills are from. We recommend calling those agencies if they have any COVID-19 relief policies for accounts that are experiencing financial hardship.
Q16. What do I do if I no longer have health insurance through my employer due to the direct impact of the COVID-19 crisis?
A: If you or someone you know no longer has health insurance coverage due to the COVID-19 crisis, they can apply for health insurance through MNSure’s emergency special enrollment period which runs from March 23rd through April 21st, 2020.
Q17. Where can I find more reliable information about COVID-19?
A: You can find more reliable information and resources about COVID-19 by visiting the CDC’s website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html and the Minnesota Department of Health’s website at https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/index.html
Q18. How do I provide support for friends and family who are experiencing grief due to death from COVID-19?
A: It is difficult to experience loss of a loved one to COVID-19. Continue to support friends and family as you would through keeping in contact via phone, video calls, online messengers, emails, social distancing and ordering flowers to be delivered. Do ask the impacted families if they are accepting visitors and how they would prefer to be comforted.