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

The state says community transmission remains at 'high and sustained levels.'
Author:
Updated:
Original:

Gov. Tim Walz has issued a plea for Minnesotans to "double down" on their efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19 as the fall arrives.

In a statement on Thursday, the Walz Administration says that Minnesotans should "remain vigilant" about the virus, particularly when it comes to private gatherings such as parties, weddings and funerals.

Positive cases have been rising since a lull in July, partly – but not completely – explained by an increase in testing, and while hospitalizations and ICU is down to the lowest level in months, there has been a slight rise in recent weeks in deaths from the virus.

Minnesota's positivity rate is currently above the 5% threshold the CDC recommends for keeping businesses safely open.

This week, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country's top infectious diseases expert, noted that the Midwest is emerging as a problem area, and identified seven states – among them Iowa, South Dakota, and North Dakota – that need to be on "high alert" entering Labor Day weekend after spikes in cases.

Minnesota wasn't among those states as its COVID-19 case rate isn't rising as quickly as in neighboring states, but White House advisor Dr. Deborah Birx expressed concern this week that parts of the state – particularly rural areas – are not observing COVID-19 safety measures as well as others, and suggested Minnesota could be approaching a "tipping point" for a spike in cases that has been seen in other states.

On Thursday, Walz asked Minnesotans to adhere to COVID-19 safety measures such as social distancing and mask-wearing, and re-think gatherings with people outside of their immediate household, as community transmission of the virus in Minnesota continues to be "high and sustained."

Health commissioner Jan Malcolm says the most recent wave is coming mainly from "a variety of social gatherings," both formal and informal private social activity that is "fueling the numbers." This compares to the original outbreak between March and May, where much of the spread occurred in long-term care facilities and businesses such as meat-packing plants.

"As we head into the fall and the long winter ahead, we must double down in our fight to combat the spread of COVID-19,” said Governor Walz. “We must all do our part to slow the spread, protect our communities, and keep our businesses open. I know it is hard, but Minnesotans are resilient people. We must dig deep, stay strong, and hold the virus at bay."

“I know it is incredibly difficult to not hug your grandparents. It can be awkward to ask your friends to wear a mask. It’s a hassle to keep sanitizing your hands. But just because you’re over the pandemic, doesn’t mean it’s over you,” said Lt. Governor Flanagan. “As the weather grows colder and we approach flu season, it is more important than ever that we take strict precautions to slow the spread of COVID-19.”

Follow Bring Me The News on YouTube

Next Up

124906958_401361401236047_6293747214536025849_o

Pandemic pushes need for cybersecurity and I.T. professionals to forefront

University of Wisconsin-Superior is helping meet demand with online master’s programs

Screen Shot 2020-12-03 at 5.01.58 PM

Body found floating in Minnesota River in Shakopee

Efforts to identify the deceased are underway.

Hennepin County Government Center

Judge finds suspect guilty in 1991 murder of young Minneapolis woman

A 58-year-old man from South St. Paul, who was 29 at the time, has been found guilty of stabbing a 20-year-old woman

northfield community education center

Northfield school fires employee who allegedly gave melatonin to infant

It's against district policies to give a child anything without a parents' permission.

state hockey tournament, mshsl

MSHSL approves 3 calendars to start winter sports as soon as Dec. 21

The start date will depend on whether the state shutdown is lifted.

hydrocodon-DEA

Drug overdose deaths up 31% in the first half of 2020

Overdose deaths started to increase sharply in March, which coincides with the state-ordered lockdown for the COVID-19 pandemic.

los ocampos

Video: Vehicle crashes into St. Paul restaurant

The fire department is on scene addressing a gas leak.

covid-19, coronavirus

Latest county infection rates are sky-high throughout Minnesota

Kandiyohi County is one of the hardest hit counties in the state.

Jenna Fish

Family's warning after teen's tragic death from CO poisoning at Thanksgiving

A 17-year-old girl from Delano died after Thanksgiving due to carbon monoxide poisoning.

Plainview

More than $12K donated to MN gym owner who refused to close

The small business is located in town in Wabasha County.

radio station, microphone

MPR, The Current launch new weekly segment called 'The Warming House'

The program will feature feel-good entertainment amid the pandemic.

Related

Tim Walz

Gov. Tim Walz, MDH react to record-setting COVID-19 deaths

Minnesota can expect further bad news over the coming weeks.

Governor Tim Walz

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

The governor will speak during a media call Monday afternoon.

Screen Shot 2020-04-17 at 2.58.26 PM

Walz discusses COVID-19, no plans to re-close businesses, schools

The governor is urging Minnesotans to follow the current safety protocols.

Screen Shot 2020-08-25 at 11.23.26 AM

Gov. Walz announces plan to create COVID-19 saliva testing lab in MN

It's hoped the lab will double the state's testing capacity, including the potential for home testing.

Walz

Walz to announce new COVID-19 restrictions at Tuesday press conference

He will reportedly reduce the opening hours of bars and restaurants.

Tim Walz

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

The governor is pleading with Minnesotans to play their part as the state enters its darkest hour in the battle against COVID-19.