ST. PAUL, Minn. (KEYC) — Gov. Tim Walz is urging Minnesotans to continue to practice social distancing and avoid large gatherings, adding that the next couple of months will be crucial in the fight against the coronavirus.
In a press briefing this afternoon, Walz joined state officials to address Minnesota’s COVID-19 situation. Walz stressed the importance of testing, something discussed during his recent meeting with White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx.
“She was clear, widespread testing, especially among asymptomatic people, is the key," said Walz. “We need to be vigilant. This was her message to us, cases are rising across the upper Midwest and Minnesota is no exception. People don’t know it, but they are spreading it. According to the data, it’s spreading across rural areas in greater Minnesota as quickly as anywhere else.”
Walz said the State is not discussing a new stay-at-home order or new restrictions for restaurants and schools.
For reference, the latest data from the Minnesota Department of Health shows nearly 1,600 new cases of COVID-19 and four additional deaths tied to the virus, as of Monday, Oct. 26. The Iowa Department of Public Health also reported two additional deaths and 763 new positive cases Monday.
There have been 43.2 million cases globally since the start of the pandemic, with 1.16 million deaths. The U.S., which saw an additional 83,000 new cases over the weekend, accounts for 8.7 million of those cases and 225,000 deaths.