Coronavirus: Gov. Tim Walz to hold press conference on Friday

The governor will provide an update on Minnesota's response to the coronavirus.
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Gov. Tim Walz will provide the latest update on his administration's response to the coronavirus pandemic at a Friday press conference.

The governor will speak before a few members of the media – a requirement due to social distancing – in a live news conference at 2 p.m.

You will be able to watch the full conference on the governor's YouTube page, here.

It will happen shortly after a planned protest is due to start, organized by Minnesota groups calling for the state's economy to re-open, despite there being no sign yet that the state's coronavirus cases are slowing down.

The state reported 7 more deaths and 103 more cases on Thursday, bringing the state's total to 94 deaths and 1,912 confirmed cases, of which 1,020 have recovered.

Gov. Walz's Stay at Home order has been put in place till May 4, and he has said that he is not comfortable reopening until the state has widespread testing and adequate supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) in place.

But there have been some positive signs at least on the testing front this week in the form of the Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota both announcing they are ready to roll out testing at a level well in excess of the 40,000-a-week wanted by the governor.

This would comprise a mixture of diagnostic tests to determine if someone has COVID-19, and antibody tests that can tell if they've previously had it.

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But while the testing capacity may be reaching the level required, it requires time and strategy to make it accessible across the state, as well as providing the other PPE required to carry out the tests.

Walz said during a media call on Wednesday that he hopes to use this capacity to keep the coronavirus outbreak under control while people are allowed to get back to work.

"We're going to have a very science-based, strategic plan on when we get ready to start to move folks back into the workforce safely," Walz said. "I want to start seeing pretty significant results within the next week or so." 

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