Minnesota Governor Tim Walz directing Minnesotans to stay at home.

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz directing Minnesotans to stay at home. Click to Enlarge

(KNSI) - Minnesota Governor Tim Walz in a video conference with reporters, he says he has signed Executive Order 20-20, directing Minnesotans to stay at home.

The order starts Friday, March 27th at 11:59 p.m., and will remain in place until April 10th. He is asking people to limit their movement outside the homes to essential trips only. He says people can get gas, groceries, get medication, visit the doctor and the like. It does not mean you cannot go out of your house. It means to be smart in your travels.

Essential workers will be allowed to continue to move about. Some of those essential worker fields include doctors, nurses, first responders like police and firefighters, EMTs, child care workers, news media, energy workers, grocery store employees, public utility workers and sanitation workers.

If you are going to go out, he urges proper social distancing.

He is also extending the order for bars and restaurants to be closed for dine-in service until May 1st at 5 p.m. The distance learning for schools statewide will go until May 4th.

He says this will buy the state time, and extend the date for peak capacity.

Modeling released today by the Minnesota Department of Health and University of Minnesota predicts that more than 70,000 Minnesotans could die from COVID-19 if we take no action.Based on modeling from the University of Minnesota, in a worst case scenario, the coronavirus could kill as many as 74,000 Minnesotans.

He says it's, "too late to flatten the curve" and is asking for everyone to take part in "smart mitigation" to push back the peak and keep hospital beds available.

The Governor’s two-week order to stay home is forecasted to significantly slow the spread of COVID-19 and allow the state time to make key preparations for the pandemic. These preparations include building hospital capacity, increasing access to life-saving equipment like ventilators, increasing testing, planning for how to care for vulnerable populations, and assessing public health data to determine which community mitigation strategies are most effective.

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