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Gov. Tim Walz set to make Stay at Home, peacetime emergency announcement on Wednesday

The governor has to decide whether the Stay at Home order will be extended, possibly through the end of May.

Gov. Tim Walz is set to announce on Wednesday whether he will extend Minnesota's peacetime emergency and its Stay at Home order, both put in place to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

Walz's office has confirmed to BMTN that he is planning on addressing both measures at a press conference Wednesday.

Currently, Minnesota's Stay at Home order is set to expire on May 18, having initially gone into place in late March. Also in place until Monday is the ban on dine-in service at bars and restaurants.

The timing of his decision on whether to extend it comes as a growing number of small businesses are seemingly violating the order, with a gift shop in Burnsville opening on Monday despite not having a waiver from the state, while a dozen restaurants and bars in Stearns County plan to open this Monday no matter what decision Walz makes.

Since the first Stay at Home order went into place, it has been loosened on several occasions to allow golf courses and marinas to re-open, elective surgeries to resume, non-customer-facing businesses to go back to work, and non-essential retailers to offer curbside pickup and delivery.

Walz is also facing pressure from Minnesota Republicans regarding the state's peacetime emergency, which confers emergency powers on the governor. He has issued executive orders dozens of times to fashion the state's response to the COVID-19 outbreak that has killed almost 600 people.

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Earlier this month, House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt called for an end to the peacetime emergency, saying future response efforts should be run through the Legislature – the branches of which are split between DFL and GOP control.

Rep. Daudt threatened to block any infrastructure bonding bill that the Legislature tries to pass in the event Walz extends the peacetime emergency.

Minnesota is still seeing rising numbers of cases, and daily deaths have generally sat in the 15-30 range for the last two weeks, with health officials saying Minnesota is yet to experience its peak.

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