Updates: COVID Relief, Homelessness, and COVID Vaccinations


Covid Relief for Small Businesses and Non-Profits start applications on January 22

The State of Minnesota has provided Covid Relief money for small businesses, including 501c8 and 501c19 that serve food and beverages, and non-profit agencies.  Olmsted County received $3,089,968 of the funds provided by the state. Applications for the relief funds are available through Rochester Area Economic Development, Inc  or Rochester Area Foundation.  Here are the links to those organizations:

www.raedi.com or www.rochesterarea.org

Applications start January 22; application must be received by RAEDI by January 31 and by Rochester Area Foundation by February 2.  Checks for those who qualify will be mailed by the end of February or beginning of March.


Homeless Count

Each October Olmsted takes a count of the homeless.  The count is taken over a three-day period.

In 2019 there were 123 single adults identified as homeless.

In October of 2020 those identified as homeless were:

155 single adults

40 youth

12 families

Please note that the October count is a “snapshot” of people during the 3 days the count took place.  It does not reveal the number of homeless throughout the entire year.  Rochester Public Schools reports that about 400 students were homeless during 2020.

So far this year the warming center reports 398 individuals have used the facility.  69 of these individuals were not Olmsted County residents, of these 69 only 11 stayed form more than two weeks; this indicates that people from outside the county were moving through the county on their way back home or to other places.

The goal of Olmsted County is to work with those visiting the warming center to help them achieve housing stability.  This is done on a regular basis.


COVID -19 Vaccinations; Be Patient


Everyone is frustrated by the slow roll-out of the vaccination process.  Olmsted County has a plan is prepared for mass vaccinations; however, the number of vaccines is controlled by the Federal Government.  The vaccines do not come directly to us but pass through the process created by federal agencies.  This week Olmsted received vaccinees for less than 1,000 doses.  I am aware that this is totally inadequate.  The Federal Government will continue to send vaccines each week.  Please be aware that right now there are few vaccines available but the amount of vaccines will continue to grow.   Eventually, there will be enough vaccines for everyone who wants to get vaccinated but for right now we can only wait and be patient.

Rochester has been designated as one of the pilot sites for mass vaccinations for COVID-19.  You must have an appointment for getting a vaccination.  Currently, the vaccinations are available for people age 65 and older.  Here is the website for more information and to make an appointment and to learn about the vaccine distribution:


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