Covid -19 Updates from the Governor
This past week, Governor Walz extended the Stay Home Order until Monday, May 18. In the time that Minnesotans have bought us by staying home, we have made progress. • We announced a landmark testing strategy that will allow us to test every symptomatic Minnesotan. • We have built hospital capacity and finalized a lease on an alternate care site to make sure that all Minnesotans who need care can receive it. • We are working to acquire more personal protective equipment to protect our frontline workers. We are in a good place. But we are still heading up the peak of this pandemic and now is not the time for sudden movements. We must take cautious, measured, steps forward. We need to slowly reopen society to slow the spread, not overwhelm our hospital system, and encourage herd immunity. During this time, we will start moving toward a new normal. Starting this Monday, we are allowing retail businesses and other non-critical businesses to resume operations through curbside pick-up. This will put up to 30,000 Minnesotans back to work. Our administration will keep working on our goal to deliver on testing, tracing, and isolating in order to keep this virus at a “simmer,” and not a “boil.” In turn, Minnesotans need to do their part and deliver on smart social distancing. If Minnesotans are successful, we can strategically continue to turn the dials, taking steps to reopen smartly and safely. This includes modifying the executive order on elective procedures. We are invested in ensuring people are able to access all that they need for their long-term health. • This is why the Department of Health (MDH) team has spent countless hours compiling the feedback from stakeholders, reviewing national guidance, and evaluating the approach other states have taken. • MDH has pulled together draft guidance that will help inform the next steps we take around elective procedures. • Our hope is that early next week we will be ready to move forward and provide guidance that will allow for elective procedures to resume safely while maintaining the critical PPE and surge capacity Minnesota may need. • We invite all Minnesotans to provide comment on this. It also includes moving toward safely reopening other non-critical customer-facing settings that adopt and implement social distancing plans. Want more frequent updates? You can follow Governor Walz on Twitter and Facebook.