By Reg Chapman

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — During a statewide address Friday, Gov. Tim Walz unveiled a new website that details COVID-19’s impact on the state.

Walz says the website provides the latest data on COVID-19 in a coherent manner, including confirmed cases, how many have been released from isolation and more.

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“I just want to be candid with you Minnesota, a lot of folks are not putting out this information because they are afraid it will create a sense of panic,” Walz said in a press conference.

On the website, the Minnesota COVID-19 Public Dashboard section shows the latest on virus cases in the state and breaks down the data.

“During the stay-at-home we are collecting that data, and I want to share some of that with you. We are increasing the number of ICU beds, ventilators, personal protection equipment for the surge,” Walz said.

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There’s also a section on Minnesota’s COVID-19 Response and Preparation Capacity. This section shows the status of critical care supplies, ICU beds and ventilators. There’s also information on the number of tests conducted and how social distancing has decreased freeway traffic.

On Friday morning, state health officials announced four more COVID-19 fatalities, bringing the state’s death toll to 22. The total cases also rose to 789.

Friday marks nearly a full week since Gov. Tim Walz’s stay-at-home order went into effect in Minnesota, in which he directed residents to stay home as much as possible to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

It is likely the governor will extend that stay-at-home order until the end of April.

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Reg Chapman