By Esme Murphy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Gov. Tim Walz is in the second day of his self quarantine, but said today that he’s feeling healthy and symptom-free as he updated the state’s latest headlines surrounding the fight against the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.

On Monday, Walz went into quarantine with his family at the Governors residence after learning that a member of his security detail had tested positive for the virus.

Joining Walz on the daily call were officials from the Minnesota Department of Health, the Minnesota Department of Economic Security, and the Department of Homeland Security.

The numbers involved in the battle are stunning — 469,000 meals to Minnesota children, and 149,000 filed for unemployment. Of that latter number, 48,000 came from the hospitality industry. Because more women work in that industry, women are being affected more.

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“We usually see female applicants come in at about 33% of the population applying for unemployment insurance, and that has jumped to 63%,” Department of Employment & Economic Development Commissioner Steve Grove said.

Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm offered a cautionary note, saying more cases are coming. Walz offered a glimmer of hope, saying Minnesota’s efforts to flatten the curve and reduce the number of new cases is paying off.

“Our original order on schools and places of amusement was broader than most states,” Walz said. “We think Minnesota is getting results that look different.”

Despite that positive note, Walz says he is expecting to extend his orders to keep schools and restaurants and other public places closed, and he offered a blunt assessment that the state of Minnesota will remain at a standstill beyond Easter, which is two and a half weeks away. President Donald Trump has said he wants the U.S. open for business by Easter.

Esme Murphy