By WCCO-TV Staff

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Gov. Tim Walz said Thursday the state will distribute more than 2 million KN95 masks to communities across Minnesota.

Nearly a third of the masks — 650,000 — will go to local public health agencies, while another 550,000 will go to schools, the governor’s office said.

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The remainder will go to “MDH’s Community Coordinators, child care centers, clinics serving Medicaid enrollees, and tribal nations,” according to a release.

“Studies constantly show that high-quality masks like KN95s better protect wearers from COVID-19 and help slow the spread of the virus,” Walz said. “As we navigate the difficult weeks ahead, make sure you mask up in public to protect yourself, your family, and your community.”

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Last week, the Biden administration announced plans to distribute 400 million free N95 masks to pharmacies and community health centers nationwide.

The most recent data from the Minnesota Department of Health shows the state’s COVID-19 positivity rate dipping, but still near the highest it’s been at any point in the pandemic at 22.9%.

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Minnesota has seen 1.28 million total cases of the virus, and 11,282 deaths.