MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz says the COVID-19 pandemic is not over and on Friday extended the state’s peacetime emergency through mid-July.

Walz says the decision was made following advice from public health experts, senior advocates, as well as labor and medical providers.

“Minnesotans’ health and safety is our top priority, and the actions we took over the last three months have saved lives,” Walz said. “The peacetime emergency opens our toolbox, allowing us to take swift action as necessary to protect the health and well-being of our communities, businesses, and families. This pandemic is not over. We must continue to work together to put public health first.”

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According to Walz, the extension will protect Minnesota residents against evictions and wage garnishment, while at the same time allow the state to reopen society following advice from public health experts.

The peacetime emergency also gives the governor power to issue executive orders and regulate businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. It also allowed the state to set up partnerships with the Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota to increase the number of tests being given.

The extension means that the peacetime emergency will be in effect until July 13. Read the executive order here.

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