As COVID cases continue to surge, Walz looks to improve testing, staffing

Gov. Tim Walz is looking to secure funding to assist in testing and staffing as COVID cases across the state and country continue to surge.
Published: Jan. 14, 2022 at 4:07 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 14, 2022 at 6:40 PM CST
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — The Minnesota Department of Health reported 11,560 newly reported cases of COVID Friday, bringing the state’s tally to 1,138,246 positive cases since the pandemic began.

The death total is now at 10,971 with 32 newly reported deaths on Friday. Blue Earth County has reached 13,767 confirmed cases of the virus, while Nicollet County has had 6,153 cases.

All this data comes as the omicron variant continues to surge across all levels.

St. Peter Public Schools canceled in-person classes Thursday, instead opting for a flexible learning day, and with that day off, it gives the district five days off to provide a chance for what they hope will lower the rate of infection among students.

Over in Sleepy Eye, the Sleepy Eye Public School District will be implementing a temporary two-week mask mandate that is scheduled to begin on Monday.

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: Dear Saint Peter Schools Families, Thursday, January 13, 2022 will be a Flexible Learning Day...

Posted by Saint Peter Public Schools on Wednesday, January 12, 2022

While the cases continue to spike and remain volatile, Gov. Tim Walz, earlier this week, celebrated a milestone for the state.

“We’re out here today to celebrate 200,000 vaccines that have been given by our partners here at the Mall of America site,” Walz said. “To the folks here at Mall of America, thank you for partnership and willingness to open up space.”

As far as the future of the virus goes in the state, Walz says around $40 million has been set aside to increase staff in hospitals and another $40 million has been dedicated to testing.

“We put roughly $40 million into increasing staff at our hospitals, also another $40 million into testing,” Walz said. “We asked the federal government, FEMA to help us with another federal site for testing. We don’t have an answer on that yet, but I’m hopeful that we’re able to get that.”

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