Walz, frontline workers to address Minnesotans Monday afternoon as hospitalizations surge

The state's health care systems are getting stretched "dangerously" thin.
Publish date:

Frontline workers will join Gov. Tim Walz and the Minnesota Department of Health on Monday to urge Minnesotans to take COVID-19 seriously as the healthcare system is on the brink of becoming overwhelmed.

They'll all speak at a news conference at 2 p.m. Monday in which they'll "urge Minnesotans to take steps to combat the spread of COVID-19," a news release says.

Related: Gov. Walz tells Minnesotans: The time to beat COVID-19 is now

This comes as novel coronavirus cases in Minnesota continues its surge. On Sunday, MDH reported 7,559 new cases, pushing the state's active case count total to more than 50,000. There were also 31 more deaths. 

Meanwhile, hospitalizations are also surging. Through Nov. 12, the number of people with COVID-19 hospitalized in Minnesota is 1,424, which marks an all-time high. To put that into perspective, there were 580 people hospitalized with COVID-19 just over three weeks ago (Oct. 24).

And that doesn't include hospitalizations for non-COVID reasons, such as strokes, heart attacks, car crashes and other emergencies. 

Hospitals stretched 'dangerously' thin

Rising hospitalizations and unchecked community spread of the virus is what is so concerning to frontline workers and state health officials. 

Health officials have said they have the ability to create more space for COVID-19 patients and they have the supplies to do so. But they've warned that they don't have the staff to care for the sickest people.

"We are at a pivotal moment in this pandemic. Health care resources are stretched dangerously thin just as demand for care is spiking," Dr. John Pryor, president of Duluth-based Essentia Health's East Market said during a news conference last week. "Our ability to staff medical and ICU beds is being tested. If the current trajectory of transmission holds, our communities will be at risk."

Widespread community spread of the virus is forcing doctors and nurses to stay home from work because they've been exposed, they're caring for someone who is sick or they are sick themselves. This is leaving fewer health care workers to care for the rising number of patients, and the doctors and nurses who are left are getting burned out. 

In other states, like North Dakota, the situation has gotten so bad that healthcare workers who've been exposed to the virus or are asymptomatic are asked to work

To help limit the spread of COVID-19, all Minnesotans have to do is follow the guidelines health experts have been stressing for months – wear a mask, wash your hands, socially distance, avoid social gatherings, stay home if you're sick or have been exposed to COVID-19, and get tested.

Related: Experts say stay home this Thanksgiving, 'bubble' before if you'll go anyway

There are pandemic naysayers, but the words of healthcare workers on the front lines and people who are experiencing it first or second hand are undeniable. Click here to read some of their stories.  

Next Up


DirecTV subscribers could lose KARE 11 on Tuesday

A new contract needs to be agreed upon by 6 p.m. Tuesday.

prison, Rush City cell block

Inmate from Rush City prison dies after COVID-19 diagnosis

The man is the fifth incarcerated person in Minnesota to die from COVID-19.


Belle Plaine man dies after duck boat capsizes on lake

One man was found sitting on the overturned boat while another man was in the water.

Screen Shot 2020-11-29 at 4.59.51 PM

Watch: Adam Thielen watches end of Vikings/Panthers just like all of us

The Vikings receiver looked like a true fan on Sunday afternoon.

Chad Beebe

Chad Beebe's roller-coaster fourth-quarter keeps Vikings playoff hopes alive

A muffed punt and a game-winning touchdown helped defeat the Panthers on Sunday afternoon.


West-central MN cops warn kids to stay off ice, or 'Santa won't come'

This comes amid repeated ice warnings across the state.

covid-19, coronavirus, PPE

Nov. 29 COVID-19 update: 57 deaths, nearly 9,000 more cases

Nearly 100,000 tests were included in Sunday's report.

jim ramstad

Watch former Rep. Jim Ramstad's memorial service online

The ceremony will be live-streamed for the public on Sunday.


How high can Rashod Bateman go in the 2021 NFL Draft?

The Gophers star receiver has plenty of praise heading into next April.

TCF Bank Stadium

15 more from Gopher football team test positive for COVID-19

That brings the total number of cases from this outbreak to 40.

Teddy Bridgewater

5 questions for Vikings-Panthers Week 12 NFC battle

The Vikings welcome Teddy Bridgewater back to U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday.

police lights

Man, 21, in custody after Albert Lea police officer shot in the chest

The officer was able to drive to an emergency room.


Governor Tim Walz

Governor Tim Walz will again speak to Minnesotans on Monday

The press conference is scheduled to begin at 12:30 p.m.

Gov. Tim Walz

Walz urges Minnesotans to 'double down' on COVID-19 efforts as fall arrives

The state says community transmission remains at 'high and sustained levels.'

Screen Shot 2020-04-17 at 2.58.26 PM

Gov. Walz to address COVID-19 crisis for second day running

On the call will be individuals who have been impacted by the virus.

Governor Tim Walz

Gov. Walz issues plea to Minnesotans as COVID-19 cases surge

“I’ve said from the beginning, the virus’ spread will dictate our course and we are well into a dark chapter in the story of this pandemic," the governor said.


Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Monday, August 10

The number of patients requiring care in the hospital increased.