It's been quite some time since Gov. Tim Walz provided an update on Minnesota's response to the coronavirus pandemic, but he'll do just that at 2 p.m. Tuesday.
The media briefing will not be televised, but Gov. Walz will be joining a regular press call that is typically hosted three times a week by the Minnesota Department of Health. Joining Walz on the call will be Department of Health Assistant Commissioner Dan Huff.
Audio from the press briefing is typically live-streamed online by numerous Twin Cities media outlets.
It's unclear what the governor's focus will be, but his appearance comes one day after he extended Minnesota's peacetime emergency for the fifth time since March, and as surrounding states are seeing record levels of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.
"Our actions will determine whether Minnesota follows our neighbors," Walz tweeted Oct. 8.
Minnesota is currently in the midst of an uptick in COVID-19 testing, cases, deaths and hospitalizations. Through Oct. 11, the state's hospital ICU beds were 55.3% occupied (1,023 of 1,847 beds), with 140 of those patients inflicted with COVID-19. More than 3,100 non-ICU beds remain unoccupied in Minnesota hospitals, according to state data.
Overall, there are 446 COVID-19 patients hospitalized (140 in ICU) in Minnesota, which is near the highest levels (471 last Friday) the state has seen since June.
Deaths are also increasing. Through the first 12 days of October, the state health department has reported 110 deaths. The first 12 days of September (88 deaths), August (78 deaths) and July (61 deaths) were all lower. Going back roughly a month to Sept. 10, Minnesota has reported 274 deaths.
Increasing numbers in Midwest states is happening as the weather cools and people increasingly spend more time indoors, where the virus is known to spread more effectively.