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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Gov. Tim Walz and health officials are looking at models to try and determine when the COVID-19 outbreak will peak in Minnesota.

At this point they’re saying it could be two-and-a-half months away, so about mid-June.

On their daily call Tuesday, reporters pressed Walz and his commissioners on how long the crisis will last in the state, and what the modeling shows. The governor stressed that with all the unknowns, he doesn’t want to mislead Minnesotans, and he wants the state to be ready for a peak at any time.

“Our planning, and what I told my team, is sometime here with the next four weeks we need to be prepared for that be upon us,” Walz said.

Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said the modeling shows the peak could occur anywhere through mid-June.

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“That range took us from the middle of May to the middle of June for what we would be expecting with peak hospitalizations,” Malcolm said.

The scenario for congregant living facilities is grim. When asked when people would be able to actually visit those in long-term care sites instead of standing outside windows, the governor said it may be “many months.”

“I don’t see a horizon on that for the next, certainly weeks and few months, but its evolving quickly and as new information comes in we are certainly adapting it to what we are doing with our planning,” Walz said.

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Congregant living facilities include anywhere people are living together, ranging from nursing homes, to group homes, to prisons.

MDH officials say there have been cases in 39 congregant living facilities, affecting 33 residents and 19 health care workers.

Amidst the bleak outlook, there are reports of extraordinary success. The Minnesota Department of Education reports that between March 19 and March 27, 1.2 million meals were delivered for Minnesota school children who are stuck at home.

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Esme Murphy

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