Reports: Gov. Tim Walz expected to extend, but loosen Stay at Home order

The extended order will expire on May 18.
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Minnesota's Stay at Home order is expected to remain in place for a further two weeks, with Gov. Tim Walz set announce its extension – with changes – until May 18.

The current order is due to come to an end on Monday, but will be extended as there aren't yet signs that Minnesota's COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations are slowing.

After a dip in deaths and ICU cases in recent days, Thursday saw a further 24 deaths confirmed in Minnesota – the second highest single-day total yet – as well as jumps in the number of hospitalized (201 to 235) and critical patients (119 to 130).

As well as the Stay at Home order, the ban on dine-in service at bars and restaurants, as well as entertainment and public accommodation venues, is also being extended.

But there are reports that Gov. Walz will make some additional changes that will allow more businesses to reopen.

Per Blois Olson, the political analyst for WCCO-AM, these will include allowing more small retailers to operate curbside pick-up and delivery services.

Currently, the majority of retailers have been required to close unless they sell essential goods including groceries, alcohol, or building materials.

But during the course of the existing Stay at Home order, Gov. Walz has already loosened restrictions to allow for golf courses, marinas, garden centers, and non-customer-facing commercial and industrial businesses to reopen.

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One other thing to look out for is whether there will be any lifting of restrictions on elective medical procedures, which have been curtailed since mid-March as the state ramped up its capacity to handle COVID-19 cases.

Minnesota now has significant capacity of ICU beds and ventilators, though some of its personal protective supplies, notably gowns, require replenishing.

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