Coronavirus: Walz says Minnesota's new numbers Friday 'are going to jump way up'

The governor spoke about the situation on WCCO Radio.

Latest: Minnesota's COVID-19 cases rise by 26 to 115.

There's growing suspicion that Minnesota could be eventually be headed for a shelter-in-place order, much the same the entire State of California is in after their governor made the order Thursday.

When Minnesota could be put under a shelter-in-place order is up to Gov. Tim Walz, who during a Friday morning appearance with Dave Lee on WCCO Radio said such an order is "a possibility" but right now it's "not the situation we believe we're at." 

Walz is set to address Minnesotans during a 2 p.m. news conference Friday. 

Between then and now, Walz said new numbers regarding Minnesota's confirmed coronavirus cases are "going to jump way up" when they're released Friday. 

"I certainly think it is a possibility," Walz added, speaking about a possible shelter-in-place order. "When we report here later this morning, numbers are going to jump way up. And that is going to be an accelerating pace. This has followed the same pattern in other countries, the only difference is how countries responded."

The latest data on confirmed coronavirus cases will be released at approximately 11 a.m. by the Minnesota Department of Health. 

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As of Thursday's data, there were 89 confirmed cases in the state, but health officials warn that there is likely widespread community transmission happening, meaning there are far more cases of COVID-19 out there. 

Walz said "this is our new normal at least for the coming weeks and potentially months." 

The governor also noted that if the time comes to call on Minnesota's 13,000 National Guard members, they are "highly adaptable" and ready to help out in numerous capacities, including: 

  • Help out with prison security.
  • Deliver priority goods, specifically food.
  • Backing up first responders if firefighters, police, etc. need to be quarantined.

Walz also said they are "already exploring" the idea of trying to get retired healthcare workers back into the workforce. 

"People know what the real threat with this is, is the overwhelming of the system, which means when people get sick there will not be a bed, there will not be a ventilator, and there might not be a doctor. Then you have those horrific scenes of people in the hallways on makeshift cots not getting treatment. 

"My colleague, (Governor) John Bel Edwards, down in Louisiana, said yesterday, he thinks they could be overwhelmed within a week, and they're on the front end of this."

You can listen back to the interview via this link. Walz joins at the 8:23:00 mark

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