Gov. Walz to provide update to Minnesota's COVID-19 response Monday

The governor will speak during a media call Monday afternoon.
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Gov. Tim Walz will provide an update on Minnesota's COVID-19 response Monday afternoon.

Walz will join Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm and Department of Health Infectious Disease Director Kris Ehresmann on the 2 p.m. briefing call with Minnesota media.

According to an announcement Sunday, among the topics of discussion will be Walz's recent meeting with Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House's COVID-19 adviser.

He will also provide an update on his administration's response to COVID-19 at a time when cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are all rising at a concerning rate.

Some of the worst-hit areas from the recent surge of the virus are in rural Minnesota, with MinnPost reporting that as of Friday, 207 people living in greater Minnesota had died from the virus since Sept. 17, compared to 152 living in the 7-county Twin Cities metro.

During her recent visit to Minnesota, Dr. Birx expressed "deep concern" about the situation in the state.

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"Living in a rural area or being a farmer in a rural area does not protect you at this point from COVID," she said, per the Star Tribune.

"It’s among all of you and you can’t see it; you don’t know it’s there,” she said. "A family member could easily have the virus.”

The past week has seen a significant rise in deaths from COVID-19, with the 35 deaths announced Wednesday equaling the highest single day death count so far. At the weekend, a further 35 deaths were confirmed.

It remains to be seen whether this surge will lead to a return of some of the restrictions implemented earlier this year, with Walz having recently expressed a reticence to do so, though both he and Attorney General Keith Ellison have made public calls for groups to limit the size of gatherings particularly indoors, highlighting potential gatherings related to the upcoming election.

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