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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Gov. Tim Walz has announced he is extending the state’s peacetime state of emergency due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, as the number of positive cases in Minnesota has been on the rise.

The governor had previously extended the emergency order back in the middle of June. It was set to expire on Monday. The initial state of emergency was issued by Walz on March 16.

“COVID-19 continues to present an unprecedented and rapidly evolving challenge to our state,” Walz said. “The peacetime emergency has provided us tools to save lives and mitigate the devastating impacts of this pandemic. As cases skyrocket in other states, we can’t let our guard down now.”

The peacetime emergency also gives the governor power to issue executive orders and regulate businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the full text of the order here.

The current peacetime emergency status is set to expire August 12 if not extended on or before then.

Walz’s office said that the emergency orders he’s issued have allowed for an increase in testing, protected veterans in veterans’ homes, activated the National Guard to assist in relief, and helped hospitals prepare for an influx of patients suffering the worst effects of COVID-19.

Also, Walz’s office said the emergency order is also what allowed the state to provide housing support, assistance to small businesses, and other support systems for those who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic.

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