(Learfield News Service/St. Paul, MN) Governor Tim Walz is asking Minnesotans to stay at home from first thing Saturday morning through April 10th to “give Minnesota time to ready for battle” against the COVID-19 pandemic. The governor says testing wasn’t in place soon enough to “flatten the curve”, and Walz says the goal now is to slow down the rate of COVID infections and buy time until the state gets a “surge” of intensive care units in place. He says,
“If you get sick… and if you need an I-C-U, and if that I-C-U is available with a ventilator and all of the things you need, you have a 10 times greater chance of surviving this.” The governor says 85 percent of people who get COVID-19 experience only mild symptoms, but 15 percent require hospitalization — and a third of those hospitalized need to be in the intensive care unit. Walz is opting for a two-week shelter-in-place order because he says a longer one will not reduce the number of infections, just delay them.
The governor says under his order Minnesotans can still leave their homes to get groceries, fill the gas tank, see the doctor, care for others including pets — even get outside, but not close to other people.
The stay-at-home order does *not* apply to those in health care and related fields, law enforcement and first responders, employees at emergency shelters and congregate living facilities, child care, food and agriculture, energy, water and wastewater treatment, and critical manufacturing.