COVID 19 Emergency Assistance for Homeowners and Renters

Southeastern Minnesota Multi-County Housing and Redevelopment Authority (SEMMCHRA) is planning for funding to assist struggling homeowners and renters who have been economically impacted by COVID 19.  Funds can be used to pay:

  • Mortgage Payments
  • Rent Payments
  • HOA Dues
  • Homeowner’s Insurance
  • Contract for Deed Payments
  • Utility Bills
  • Septic System Pumping
  • Lot Rent

The applicant must meet income guidelines and the economic hardship must be due to COVID 19.  Only expenditures incurred between March 1, 2020 and December 15, 2020 will be eligible for the program.

For more information about the program requirements or to fill out a pre-application, please visit or contact Amy Gusa at 651-565-2638 ext. 222 or

Mandatory Mask Order for Minnesota

Effective Saturday, July 25th

As of July 25, 2020, per the Governor's Executive Order 20-81, people in Minnesota are required to wear a face-covering in all public indoor spaces and businesses, unless alone.  Additionally, workers are required to wear a face-covering when working outdoors in situations where social distancing cannot be maintained. Research has shown that use of face coverings can greatly reduce the risk of infection when combined with other prevention efforts such as social distancing and hand hygiene.

For more information about face coverings and the Executive Order, please see the Frequently Asked Questions About the Requirement to Wear Face Coverings.

City-Wide Mask Order

Effective Friday, July 10th, at 12:01 am

Mayor Mark Peterson has proclaimed a citywide mask order that takes effect at 12:01 am on Friday, July 10.  The Winona City Council affirmed the order and extended it until Tuesday, September 8th.

The order requires all Winona residents and visitors to wear face coverings indoors in public buildings and anywhere where physical distancing is difficult.

“The single most important action any Winonan can take to prevent the spread of COVID is to wear a mask,” Peterson said. “This is the right thing to do. This order will help keep our businesses open, allow our schools and universities to open this fall, and most importantly protect the health and safety of all Winona residents.”

Answers to several questions about the citywide order can be found at the City of Winona website here. If you have further questions, reach out to Mayor Mark Peterson at, or city manager Stephen T. Sarvi at 507-457-8234 and

Click or tap here to read the full text of the proclamation.

Virtual Library Comic Convention

During the COVID-19 social distancing period, leading comic, graphic novel, and children’s book publishing partners are pitching in to help libraries excel at delivering remote services through the Virtual Library Comic Convention (VLCC) project.

Now through August 31, 2020 state libraries across the country will host a geolocated simultaneous use instance of thousands of high-quality graphic novels, comics, and visual YA and children's content with FREE unlimited access to everyone in the state!

Access Minnesota's VLCC here (link)

On July 30th, there will be online sessions with illustrators, characters, and industry professionals covering a wide variety of topics including comic book art 101. It will be a fun-filled day with each session offering something unique that everyone can participate in. To register, go to

Make a Plan MN

The Minnesota Department of Human Services urges all Minnesotans who are responsible for the care of a child to make a plan now for alternate short-term care for their children in the event parents or guardians become ill.

To support families in this process, they’ve developed Make a Plan, Minnesota, which guides families through a process to identify possible caregivers, gather vital family and child information, and share their plan with others.

Developing an emergency plan can help you and your family be prepared for whatever comes your way. It is never too early to develop a plan for your family. It is also a good idea to revisit and update existing plans. This is especially true during the COVID-19 pandemic, which is requiring us to plan in different ways than other emergencies. One important plan to have in place is what to do if a parent or guardian becomes sick or hospitalized due to the virus.

Minnesota Small Business Relief Grants

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) will oversee the Minnesota Small Business Relief Grants Program approved by the Minnesota State Legislature and signed by Gov. Tim Walz on June 16, 2020.

This program will make available $10,000 grants to Minnesotan owned and operated businesses that can demonstrate financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. A total of $60.3 million is available for grant awards which will be selected through a computer-generated, randomized selection process.

Applications for the Small Business Relief Grant Program are now open and will be accepted until 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 2.

For more information and to apply, visit the MN Department of Economic Development.