Skip to main content

Gov. Walz: Minnesota has bought time against the COVID-19 outbreak

Data shows that community mitigation in Minnesota is working to slow the spread.

Minnesotans have taken social distancing seriously and the data shows that the strategy has bought the state's healthcare facilities more time in the race against the spread of the novel coronavirus. 

"We have slowed the infections rate, have pushed out the peak and have pushed out the peak to ICU capacity," Gov. Tim Walz said.

Walz reiterated that 40-80% of Minnesotans will likely be infected with COVID-19 during the course of the epidemic, but the key is drawing out the peak infection rate and keeping intensive care unit (ICU) beds available to patients, as well as stockpiling as much personal protection equipment as possible for doctors and nurses. 

"If they're [severely ill patients] able to get proper ICU, their survival rates are much, much higher. If they don't get that ICU care, it has a pretty high mortality rate and we're trying to work against that," said Walz. 

The governor is still studying developing data and modeling before making a decision to put Minnesota in a stay-at-home order the same way more than a dozen states across the country, including Wisconsin, have. 

"We think Minnesota is getting results that look different. When you go into a shelter in place, how are you going to come out of that and what's it look like? People need to hear the truth on this.

"There's going to be several waves of this. It's how you manage it. The decisions we've taken now have all been to do basically one thing, to buy us time by social distancing. It's what you do with that time."

By slowing the rate of spread, Minnesota researchers are using the extra time to look for therapeutics and vaccines, ramp up testing, stockpile protective equipment and planning for how to best handle any additional waves of the outbreak. 

"The thing that we're striving for is to not let anybody show up at the hospital and not be able to get an ICU bed or ventilator," said Walz. 

There are currently 243 ICU beds available in Minnesota. Of the state's 262 confirmed COVID-19 patients, seven of them are currently in intensive care.

Sign up for our BREAKING NEWS newsletters  

Walz reacts to Trump's goal of re-opening the economy by Easter

The good news for Minnesota comes on a day in which President Donald Trump said he's hoping to re-open the nation's economy by Easter, which waits 19 days from now on April 12.

"It's going to be well beyond Easter and I don't think it does us any good to pretend that it's not," said Walz, who was asked what advice he'd give to Trump: "Use the Defense Protection Act and crank out PPE and ventilators, that is the single biggest thing that the federal government could do." 

The president's optimism was preceded by an ominous message from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

"We are just the test case. That's how the nation should look at it. Look at us today. Where we are today, you will be in three weeks or five weeks or six weeks. We are your future," said Gov. Cuomo said. 

If New York is the future for Minnesota, the rate of infection is far faster than it appears to be in Minnesota, which is a testament to Minnesotans taking Gov. Walz's "Stay Home MN" initiative seriously. 

Minnesota, with still-limited testing capabilities, has 262 confirmed COVID-19 cases. In New York, the number of confirmed cases has exploded from around 3,500 last Thursday to more than 21,000 Tuesday, albeit it has greater testing capacity.

Minnesota has had just 1 COVID-19 death so far, while New York has had 157.

Next Up

ambulance

Two youths seriously injured after being struck by driver in Bloomington

Police say the boy is in a critical condition, while the girl has severe injuries.

Rosedale Center

Two men sentenced for carjacking in Rosedale Center parking lot

Leon Kismit Bell, 49, and Jack Mitchell Piche, 23, were sentenced in U.S. District Court on Jan. 20.

Screen Shot 2023-01-27 at 3.59.30 PM

Police identify White Bear Lake officer shot while serving warrant

The officer is a six-year veteran of the department.

abortion, planned parenthood

Minnesota Senate passes bill codifying abortion into state law

Having already passed in the House, it will now be sent to Gov. Tim Walz for signing into law.

Screen Shot 2023-01-27 at 7.45.44 PM

Tyre Nichols: Initial police version of events bear similarities to George Floyd killing

Memphis PD said Nichols complained of 'shortness of breath' following 'confrontations' with police, who in reality violently beat him.

George Floyd, protest

Twin Cities authorities preparing for community reaction to Tyre Nichols video

The ATF division in St. Paul sent out an alert out of "an abundance of caution."

Screen Shot 2023-01-27 at 2.12.05 PM

Changes at K102's Chris Carr & Company, with Sam Sansevere joining as co-host

She is the daughter of former KQRS morning show personality Bob Sansevere.

Screen Shot 2023-01-27 at 1.16.21 PM

Minneapolis' Royal Foundry Craft Spirits announces closure

The distillery set out to infuse the Minneapolis craft cocktail scene with British flavor.

ShutterflyGoogle

Shutterfly to cut almost 100 jobs at Shakopee facility

The layoffs are expected to impact multiple positions within the company.

Related

Tim Walz

Gov. Walz to self-quarantine after contact with COVID-19

A member of the governor's security staff tested positive for the disease.

Gov. Walz to give update on MN's response to COVID-19

The governor will provide an update at 2 p.m. Tuesday, March 24.

minnesota state fair

Coronavirus: Walz talks State Fair, confidence in outbreak model

The State Fair is set to begin in 153 days (as of Thursday).

coronavirus, nurse

MN hospitals urge Gov. Tim Walz to mandate masks statewide

The MN Hospitals Association says there is a narrow window to slow the spread.

coronavirus, covid-19, shelter-in-place, Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis

Reports: Walz set to issue 'shelter-in-place' order for Minnesota

Walz is set to address the state at 2 p.m. Wednesday.

Cowboy Jacks

4 Minnesota bars linked to COVID-19 outbreaks

More than 130 cases have resulted from people congregating at the bars.

Life Time

Life Time encourages members to lobby Walz over COVID-19 measures

The CEO says it could end up temporarily laying off 4,000 workers.

Governor Tim Walz

Walz: Most will recover, but 40-80% of Minnesotans will get COVID-19

Walz discussed at length the possibility of a stay-at-home order for Minnesota.