Coronavirus: Gov. Tim Walz to announce next steps in Thursday press conference

He is expected to announce an extended, but loosened Stay at Home order.
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Governor Tim Walz

Gov. Tim Walz will announce the state's latest steps in response to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak at a Thursday press conference.

Gov. Walz will give an update at a 2 p.m. press conference, which will be broadcast live on his YouTube page.

He will make a decision on Minnesota's Stay at Home order, which expires on Monday. He is expected to extend it, but said Wednesday he will modify it further, likely to allow more retail businesses to reopen.

The governor last extended the Stay at Home order on April 8, when Minnesota had 1,154 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 39 deaths.

As of Wednesday, the state had seen 4,644 confirmed cases and 319 deaths, almost four-fifths of which have happened in long-term care settings.

Since the order went into place, Minnesota has also seen a major outbreak at Nobles County, connected to the pork processing plant run by JBS USA, which Gov. Walz visited on Wednesday as he spoke of the effort to get the plant back online safely.

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While there have been calls for the governor to "reopen Minnesota," he has cautioned that the state is still a month away from its projected peak of coronavirus cases.

Furthermore, it comes amid statistical and anecdotal reports that suggest fewer Minnesotans are sticking to social distancing guidelines, with traffic levels having increased over the weekend, and increasingly large crowds being seen at parks and lakes.

Nonetheless, on Wednesday he said that with the state allowing larger businesses such as meat processing plants to stay open, it should be able to do the same for smaller retailers – albeit with social distancing parameters in place.

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