ST. PAUL — In response to reports of discrimination against Asian Americans in Minnesota, Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan announced the launch of a new reporting hotline on Monday, April 6.

Those who witness or experience discrimination will be able to report it directly to the state Department of Human Rights by calling in. Phone lines will be staffed Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

As the coronavirus pandemic tightens its grip on the U.S., some have reportedly responded by lashing out against Asian Americans. COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus, was first discovered in China.

"There’s a distinct pattern in our nation’s history of increased discrimination during uncertain and trying times, of needing someone to blame," Flanagan said in a statement. "This is unacceptable and, as Minnesotans, we must work to break this cycle."

Reports can be submitted to the Discrimination Hotline by phone at 1-833-454-0148 or online at the human rights department website.