By Esme Murphy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Gov. Tim Walz, in updating the state of Minnesota on the outbreak of COVID-19 Monday afternoon, says models show that anywhere from 40% to 80% of the state’s population will likely be infected with the coronavirus strain.

The state’s number of positive cases jumped about 40% from Sunday’s figures to 235 total. Walz says that nearly 1,000 people were tested on Sunday. Earlier in the day, Walz said he was self-quarantining for two weeks after a member of his security detail tested positive for COVID-19.

Walz says his office took precautions to prepare the governor’s residence on Summit Avenue by making sure it was ready for teleconferences and emergency communications.

But as Wisconsin prepares for a shelter-in-place order Gov. Tony Evers promised to announce tomorrow, Walz said Minnesota is not yet ready to issue a similar order here. Such an order would legally require Minnesotans to stay at home except for essential trips like to the grocery store.

He said the most important metric in considering a shelter-in-place order is in how much it slows down the strain on hospitals. He also said that a shelter-in-place order would not likely be a matter of weeks if it’s called, but would more likely be in place for months.

Walz said that the state is working with the University of Minnesota to work through models of where the virus is spreading and clustering, noting that could be one way to help reduce the rate of exposure.

The governor also offered his condolences to Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan, who lost her brother Ron to COVID-19. Flanagan posted a picture of her brother on her social media. He lived in Tennessee and had also been recently diagnosed with cancer.

RELATED: Click here for all the latest Minnesota coronavirus headlines.

On Monday, Walz signed an executive order that suspends evicting renters during the spread of COVID-19, saying “We can’t put people on the streets.”

The governor has called up the National Guard unit from Fort Ripley for a number of potential missions, including the delivery of food.

The state is asking non-hospital businesses to inventory their supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) for possible distribution to medical centers.

Additionally, Minnesota will not officially delay the filing deadline for state income taxes to July 15, matching the federal deadline.

Minnesota saw 123,624 applications for unemployment benefits last week.

Esme Murphy

Comments