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.

Confirmed Cases: 37624

Reported Deaths: 1503
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin12150785
Ramsey4805226
Stearns234519
Dakota228690
Anoka2180107
Nobles16626
Olmsted110115
Washington106940
Mower9452
Rice8357
Scott7004
Clay58538
Kandiyohi5701
Wright4565
Blue Earth4532
Todd4002
Carver3641
Lyon3092
Sherburne3075
Freeborn2900
Steele2281
Watonwan2160
Benton2143
St. Louis17715
Martin1635
Nicollet15912
Cottonwood1340
Goodhue1298
Winona12215
Crow Wing10612
Pine1030
Le Sueur981
Chisago971
Otter Tail931
McLeod880
Carlton850
Dodge840
Polk812
Chippewa781
Unassigned7637
Isanti720
Itasca6412
Waseca640
Douglas620
Meeker611
Morrison591
Murray580
Becker550
Faribault550
Jackson550
Sibley542
Pennington500
Pipestone371
Mille Lacs342
Renville322
Wabasha310
Brown302
Rock300
Yellow Medicine300
Beltrami290
Fillmore280
Houston250
Swift211
Norman200
Wilkin203
Redwood180
Cass152
Wadena150
Aitkin140
Big Stone140
Kanabec141
Koochiching141
Roseau130
Marshall120
Grant100
Lincoln100
Pope100
Mahnomen81
Clearwater70
Hubbard60
Lake60
Traverse50
Lac qui Parle40
Stevens40
Red Lake30
Kittson20
Cook10
Lake of the Woods00

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 30975

Reported Deaths: 720
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk6464179
Woodbury321544
Black Hawk225258
Buena Vista171111
Johnson12648
Dallas126329
Linn126282
Marshall104319
Scott77810
Story7623
Pottawattamie72111
Wapello70630
Dubuque68322
Crawford6772
Muscatine62944
Sioux4630
Tama46229
Wright3801
Louisa36013
Jasper32317
Plymouth3165
Warren2731
Dickinson2642
Washington2369
Webster2132
Hamilton1871
Cerro Gordo1561
Boone1481
Clay1330
Clarke1312
Allamakee1284
Mahaska11517
Shelby1140
Clinton1071
Poweshiek1048
Carroll961
Pocahontas941
Bremer926
Franklin890
Des Moines882
Henry863
Emmet850
Cedar821
Taylor790
Monona760
Cherokee751
Floyd722
Hardin700
Marion700
Guthrie664
Benton651
Sac630
Jefferson590
Osceola590
Jones560
Humboldt541
Butler532
Harrison530
Lee532
Hancock510
Iowa510
Buchanan501
Monroe506
Calhoun492
Delaware491
Fayette480
Madison452
Clayton433
Lyon410
Palo Alto410
Davis391
Winneshiek380
Grundy370
Mitchell370
Mills360
Howard350
Kossuth340
Lucas304
Greene290
Jackson290
Chickasaw280
Winnebago280
Union270
Ida230
Cass220
Appanoose203
Keokuk201
Page200
Van Buren200
Worth190
Audubon161
Unassigned160
Adair150
Ringgold150
Decatur110
Montgomery102
Wayne100
Adams80
Fremont70
Rochester
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