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Walz to address Minnesotans on next steps in COVID-19 fight

05/13/2020, 12:00pm CDT
By Associated Press - Steve Karnowski

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Gov. Tim Walz will talk directly to Minnesotans on Wednesday to go over next steps in the state’s fight against COVID-19.

The Democratic governor is expected to extend his peacetime state of emergency declaration, which expires Wednesday. He may also discuss the future of his stay-at-home order, which expires Monday.

Walz has come under increasing political pressure to loosen up the stay-at-home restrictions, and some business owners are threatening defiance if they remain in place.

Confirmed cases of coronavirus continue to rise in Minnesota. The state reported 431 new cases for a total of almost 13,000 statewide, and 24 additional deaths, for a total of 638.

The peacetime emergency declaration is what has given Walz his emergency authority to issue the stay-at-home order, as well as to close schools, bars, restaurants, and other businesses, and to take other steps to fight the pandemic without legislative approval.

Also Wednesday, the Minnesota Department of Health will unveil the latest version of the model that state officials are using to inform their public health and policy decisions in response to the pandemic. It’ll be the third version of the model, which the department has developed in cooperation with experts at the University of Minnesota. Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said Monday that the modeling is only one factor in their decisions.

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