Gov. Tim Walz, MDH react to record-setting COVID-19 deaths

Minnesota can expect further bad news over the coming weeks.
Tim Walz

Gov. Tim Walz has called on Minnesotans to "honor" those who have lost their lives to COVID-19 on a day the state posted a record 101 deaths from the virus.

The single-day high shattered the previous high of 72 – reported on two days in November – and comes after a period of spiking cases and hospitalizations from the virus.

Among the deaths reported Friday was a person aged 25-29 years old in Hennepin County.

More pain could follow in the coming weeks, with hospitalizations from COVID-19 hitting a record high earlier this week, with deaths tending to lag hospitalizations.

In a statement issued Friday, Walz called on Minnesotans to honor those who have died by taking steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

"This Thanksgiving, many Minnesotans set their holiday table smaller than they normally do," he said. "Many chose to do so to protect their family from the spread of COVID-19. But for the more than 3,000 families who have lost loved ones to COVID-19, it wasn’t a choice. Those chairs will always remain empty."

He added: "As we hit this somber milestone, we owe those families a promise. We must promise them that their loved ones did not die in vain. We must honor them by fighting this virus at every turn. We must redouble our efforts to protect one another.”

Minnesota's Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm also issued a statement in which she said the Friday figures are "a sad development" but "not surprising."

"For weeks we have been sounding the alarm about the dramatic growth in COVID-19 cases," she said. "We know that more cases leads to more hospitalizations and deaths, and today’s news reinforces that tragic pattern.

"As we make our way through the next few weeks and a holiday season unlike any we have experienced, we must redouble our efforts to protect each other – especially those who are at higher risk of developing severe illness. Every public activity now is more risky than it was even a few weeks ago, so the best way to slow this spread is for people to stay home and away from gatherings with those outside of our immediate household."

Walz imposed a 4-week shutdown of bars, restaurants and gyms, as well as prohibiting gatherings with anyone outside their household.

At the same time however, he acknowledged the ban on gatherings was largely unenforceable. How many people stuck with the guidance over Thanksgiving will likely be seen discovered via case numbers of the virus in the next few weeks.

Sign up for our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

Next Up

Jaden McDaniels

Wolves lose to Magic on Cole Anthony's buzzer-beater

The Wolves blew a 20-point lead as the Magic defeated the Timberwolves on Wednesday night.

J.A. Happ

Twins sign veteran J.A. Happ to add to the rotation

The left-hander will get a one-year, $8 million deal from the Twins.

storm the capitol rally st. paul minnesota state capitol

BCA finds 'no criminal wrongdoing' among those at 'Storm the Capitol' rally

Inflammatory comments were made by speakers, but no charges will be brought.

Screen Shot 2021-01-18 at 12.27.04 PM

Man's vehicles crushed by hit-and-run driver weren't fully insured

The goal is to raise $25,000 to help the south Minneapolis resident.

Joe Biden

Key points from Joe Biden's first speech as POTUS

The 46th president called for unity at a time America is facing huge challenges.

coronavirus, covid-19

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Wednesday, January 20

The 111 ICU patients is the fewest in Minnesota since there were 109 COVID patients in intensive care on Oct. 1.


Here's what Amy Klobuchar said at Joe Biden's inauguration

The Minnesota senator was one of the leader organizers of the inauguration.

covid-19, vaccine

All of this week's COVID vaccine pilot program appointments are filled

Nearly 6,000 Minnesotans who are 65 and older registered for appointments between noon Tuesday and Wednesday morning.

Lane kueng thao chauvin

Osterholm affidavit ahead of George Floyd trial warns of COVID worsening in March

Prosecutors want to delay the Chauvin trial due to a public health threat.