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Gov. Walz orders Minnesotans to stay home for 2 weeks

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz addresses the media during news conference, Wednesday, March 18, 2020, in St. Paul, Minn., where he gave an update on the state's effort to slow down the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

Gov. Tim Walz made the announcement Wednesday as confirmed Coronavirus cases in the state near 300.

Posted: Mar 25, 2020 12:22 PM
Updated: Mar 25, 2020 6:43 PM

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Gov. Tim Walz has ordered Minnesota residents to stay at home for two weeks to slow the spread of the coronavirus and prevent it from overwhelming the state's health care system.

The governor's “stay at home” order begins at midnight Friday.

He says the restrictions are critical to buy time to build up the state's capacity to handle a flood of infections.

People will still be allowed to go to grocery stores and their doctors and buy gasoline. But the governor extended his order closing bars and restaurants to May 1. Schools will implement distance learning beginning Monday.

State officials says over 11,300 coronavirus test have been conducted.

The executive order will go into effect Friday at 11:59 p.m. and goes until Friday, April 10. 

"I'm asking for your patience," Walz said. 

During his press conference, Walz said that 15 percent of people will be hospitalized due to a Coronavirus test with five percent needing ICU care for respiratory health.

The range of cases in Minnesota goes from 6 months to 94 years old.

Walz said that 74,000 people in Minnesota could have been killed if no action was taken.

Midwest states Wisconsin and Illinois have recently ordered residents to shelter in place.

The state's count of confirmed coronavirus cases rose to 287 Wednesday, up 25 from a day earlier.

The Minnesota Department of Health said 26 people are still hospitalized as of Wednesday.

There are 21 cases in Olmsted County, six in Mower County, and three apiece in Dodge and Fillmore counties.

The Rochester City Council issued the following statement on the Governor's announcement:

"The Rochester City Council would like to thank the community for their collaborative efforts in addressing this unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic and Governor Walz’s “Stay at Home” executive order. These are certainly unsettling times as all of us deal with the outbreak."

"Times like these demonstrate the resiliency, courage and positive attitude of our community members and make us so proud to be part of it. Even as we work through the next days, weeks and months, we know that we will be equally challenged in terms of recovery for our community members, businesses, and workforce. Please know that the City of Rochester is doing whatever we can to manage through this current challenge and provide support going forward."

"The importance of the COVID-19 pandemic should not be minimized and many community resources are already available. In addition, the City of Rochester, along with other partners, continue to work to identify additional resources and creative solutions to best meet the needs of our community"

The City of Albert Lea also responded to the Governor's announcement:

"In the wake of Governor Walz's “Stay Home” order, the city of Albert Lea will continue its essential services policy until the order is lifted. All city buildings and facilities continue to be closed to the public including City Hall, the Albert Lea Public Library, Albert Lea Senior Center, City Arena and the Transfer Station. This closure is in effect at least through April 15, 2020."

"Please abide by and follow the Governor's guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID 19."

"During the closure, city services and operations will continue to be provided to the community through both phone and email. Many offices have made arrangements and alternative options for services. Most services can also be done online if necessary and citizens are encouraged to explore those options."

The Freeborn County Board of Commissioners issued this statement after the Governor spoke:

"With the recent announcement from Governor Walz requiring all citizens to Stay at Home, The Freeborn County Board of Commissioners reminds you that all Freeborn County buildings and facilities continue to be closed to the public including the Freeborn County Government Center, Freeborn County Human Services and the Freeborn County Highway Department. This closure is now extended until MAY 4, 2020 at 8am."

"We implore all the citizens of Freeborn County to abide by and follow the Governors guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID 19."

"Be assured, while the buildings will be closed to the public, normal county services and operations will continue to be provided to the community on the same schedule, through both phone and email. Many offices have made arrangements to provide alternative options for services. Most services can also be done online if necessary and citizens are encouraged to explore those options. A complete listing of department contacts for alternative method of services (PHONE AND EMAIL) can be found on the county webpage www.freeborn.mn.us."

"The Freeborn County Board of Commissioners workshop scheduled for March 31, 2020 is cancelled. The Freeborn County Board meeting scheduled on April 7 and April 21, 2020 will be via teleconference and televised on line at www.freeborn.co.mn.us."

You can see the full press release below: 

[ST. PAUL, MN] – To slow the spread of COVID-19 across the state, Governor Tim Walz today signed Executive Order 20-20 directing Minnesotans to stay at home and limit movements outside of their home beyond essential needs. This order takes effect at 11:59pm on Friday, March 27 and ends at 5:00pm on Friday, April 10.

“We must take bold action to save the lives of Minnesotans,” said Governor Walz. “Having served as a Command Sergeant Major in the Army National Guard, I know the importance of having a plan. While the virus will still be here when this order ends, this action will slow the spread of COVID-19 and give Minnesota time to ready for battle.”

Modeling released today by the Minnesota Department of Health and University of Minnesota predicts that more than 70,000 Minnesotans could die from COVID-19 if we take no action. The Governor’s two-week order to stay home is forecasted to significantly slow the spread of COVID-19 and allow the state time to make key preparations for the pandemic. These preparations include building hospital capacity, increasing access to life-saving equipment like ventilators, increasing testing, planning for how to care for vulnerable populations, and assessing public health data to determine which community mitigation strategies are most effective.

“We will work with our world-renowned health care sector, cutting-edge manufacturers, innovative business community, and strong-spirited Minnesotans across the state to tackle this virus head on,” Governor Walz continued. “These are trying times. But we are Minnesotans. We see challenges—and we tackle them. No matter how daunting the challenge; no matter how dark the times; Minnesota has always risen up—by coming together. If we unite as One Minnesota, we will save lives.”

Minnesotans may leave their residences only to perform any of the following activities, and while doing so, they should practice social distancing:

• Health and safety activities, such as obtaining emergency services or medical supplies
• Outdoor activities, such as walking, hiking, running, biking, hunting, or fishing
• Necessary Supplies and Services, such as getting groceries, gasoline, or carry-out
• Essential and interstate travel, such as returning to a home from outside this state
• Care of others, such as caring for a family member, friend, or pet in another household
• Displacement, such as moving between emergency shelters if you are without a home
• Relocation to ensure safety, such as relocating to a different location if your home has been unsafe due to domestic violence, sanitation, or essential operations reasons
• Tribal activities and lands, such as activities by members within the boundaries of their tribal reservation

“Our top priority is the health and safety of Minnesotans,” said Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan. “As the mom of a first-grader and the daughter of a parent with underlying health conditions, I know that the coming weeks will be difficult for many Minnesota families, but social distancing is the most important action we can take as a community to limit the spread of COVID-19 and care for each other.”

“Public health and health care workers around the state are working incredibly hard to protect Minnesotans from this outbreak, and we need all Minnesotans to do their part to slow the spread,” Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said. “These new measures will buy us much-needed time to secure additional resources and line up additional protections for our most vulnerable Minnesotans.”

Workers who work in critical sectors during this time are exempt from the stay at home order. These exemptions are based on federal guidance from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security with some Minnesota-specific additions. This includes, but is not limited to, jobs in:
• Healthcare and public health;
• Law enforcement, public safety, and first responders;
• Emergency shelters, congregate living facilities, drop-in centers;
• Child care;
• Food and agriculture;
• News media;
• Energy;
• Water and wastewater; and
• Critical manufacturing.

The Governor also today issued executive orders extending the closure of bars, restaurants, and other public accommodations set forth in Executive Orders 20-04 and 20-08 until May 1, 2020 at 5:00 pm and authorizing the Commissioner of Education to implement a Distance Learning Period for Minnesota’s students beginning on March 30 through May 4, 2020.

The Governor’s Executive Orders will have the full force and effect of law upon approval by the Executive Council.

Answers, symptoms and prevention | Closings around southern Minnesota, northern Iowa | For complete Coronavirus coverage, click here | Iowa Department of Health info | Minnesota Department of Health info | Daily timeline of cases in Minnesota, Iowa

 

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 289303

Reported Deaths: 3434
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin616511100
Ramsey25903487
Anoka20522218
Dakota20096183
Washington13066109
Stearns1291098
St. Louis7935101
Scott782754
Wright702436
Olmsted626134
Sherburne538640
Clay463856
Carver432213
Blue Earth387112
Rice386033
Kandiyohi373819
Crow Wing334631
Nobles298729
Chisago29358
Otter Tail282818
Benton278642
Winona258128
Mower241323
Douglas237631
Polk234423
Morrison219524
Lyon201911
McLeod195610
Beltrami194615
Becker187512
Goodhue185727
Steele17826
Itasca176124
Isanti174316
Todd171612
Carlton165710
Nicollet150823
Freeborn14465
Mille Lacs141630
Le Sueur138110
Waseca134011
Cass12849
Brown125011
Pine12458
Meeker11308
Roseau10503
Hubbard103822
Martin101920
Wabasha9611
Redwood83718
Dodge8060
Chippewa8057
Watonwan7984
Cottonwood7682
Renville75119
Sibley7414
Wadena7376
Aitkin69826
Rock6829
Pipestone67818
Houston6422
Fillmore6320
Yellow Medicine59311
Pennington5856
Kanabec54912
Murray5493
Swift5366
Faribault5081
Pope4990
Stevens4643
Clearwater4536
Marshall4438
Jackson4361
Unassigned38759
Lake3816
Koochiching3535
Wilkin3465
Lac qui Parle3383
Norman3227
Lincoln3171
Big Stone2841
Mahnomen2704
Grant2516
Red Lake2033
Kittson1917
Traverse1360
Lake of the Woods931
Cook600

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 222064

Reported Deaths: 2319
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk33019331
Linn13877164
Scott1085683
Black Hawk10730134
Woodbury10159121
Johnson935536
Dubuque907691
Story669721
Dallas624657
Pottawattamie612469
Sioux364625
Webster353033
Marshall343545
Cerro Gordo342644
Clinton319839
Buena Vista300014
Des Moines281719
Muscatine280968
Warren274011
Plymouth268941
Wapello251171
Jones227913
Jasper212443
Marion201719
Lee197916
Carroll195422
Bremer191312
Henry18037
Crawford173015
Benton166217
Tama152240
Jackson142113
Delaware140221
Washington137414
Dickinson134210
Boone134011
Mahaska125327
Wright12156
Buchanan115010
Clay11314
Hardin113010
Page11134
Hamilton10809
Clayton10715
Harrison106129
Cedar104913
Calhoun10487
Kossuth10236
Floyd102216
Mills10177
Fayette10159
Lyon10058
Poweshiek97913
Butler9746
Winneshiek95412
Iowa92312
Winnebago90223
Hancock8497
Louisa83916
Grundy83811
Chickasaw8354
Sac8297
Cherokee8134
Cass79721
Appanoose77310
Mitchell7704
Allamakee76811
Union7546
Humboldt7525
Shelby75010
Emmet74724
Guthrie73715
Franklin72921
Jefferson6852
Madison6734
Palo Alto6454
Unassigned6320
Keokuk5737
Pocahontas5532
Howard5419
Greene5160
Osceola5131
Clarke4774
Ida46813
Taylor4563
Davis4508
Montgomery44911
Monroe43712
Adair4298
Monona4212
Fremont3543
Van Buren3525
Worth3520
Lucas3216
Decatur3150
Wayne2957
Audubon2942
Ringgold2022
Adams1642
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