Governor Walz declares 'peacetime emergency,' state issues guidelines to combat COVID-19

The Department of Health asked for events with more than 250 people to be cancelled.

WCCO Radio Newsroom
March 13, 2020 - 1:41 pm
Governor Tim Walz

(AP Photo/Steve Karnowski)

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Minnestoa Governor Tim Walz declared a "peacetime emergency" in Minnesota and the state Health Department has issued a series of community guidelines to combat the spread of COVID-19.

"The safety and well-being of Minnesotans is my top priority and we are working around the clock to combat the spread of COVID-19," said Governor Walz. "I am declaring a peacetime emergency in Minnesota to ensure the state is able to respond to more rapidly to issues as they arrive. We're looking to the future and preparing for the next chapters of this pandemic as it continues to evolve."

 Minnesota Department of Health Comissioner Jan Malcom outlined a series of "community mitigation strategies" or state recommendations to help curb the spread of the virus, including:

  • Cancel or postponed large events with more than 250 people gathered together.
  • For smaller events, ensure there is enough space to allow for "social distancing," or six feet per person
  • Limit gatherings with people at high risk for sever disease, such as senior citizens, to less than 10 people.
  • Employers should make arrangements for workers whose jobs can be done remotely, stagger schedules and limit non-essential travel
  • Faith-based organizations offering video or audio events.

See the full list of recomendations here.

“We know these strategies will impact the lives of all Minnesotans, but we are hopeful we can reduce the impacts of this outbreak by working together,” Malcolm said. “All Minnesotans share the risks and the responsibilities now.”

MDH has set up a COVID-19 public hotline that is open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The hotline number is 651-201-3920.

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