SAINT PAUL –  As the state prepares for a potential COVID-19 virus outbreak, Senator Jerry Relph of St. Cloud announced Wednesday he will be introducing legislation aimed at providing additional funding and streamlining preparation in the event the virus reaches Minnesota.

The legislation, which is expected to be introduced later this week, will call for an immediate $5 million appropriation into the Public Health Response Emergency Account. If the funding is not needed, it will automatically transfer to the state’s general fund.

Public health officials have already begun taking measures to ensure Minnesota is ready for a coronavirus outbreak. Delta Air Lines, the dominant carrier at Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport has temporarily suspended flights to Seoul, South Korea, and other travel restrictions are in place.

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