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Minnesota Extends Stay-at-Home Order Until Early May

State leaders in Minnesota say they can continue to give hospitals more time to build capacity for coronavirus cases if residents mostly stay at home for another month. (Adobe Stock)
State leaders in Minnesota say they can continue to give hospitals more time to build capacity for coronavirus cases if residents mostly stay at home for another month. (Adobe Stock)
April 9, 2020

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Minnesota's stay-at-home order will not expire this Friday, and instead will run until early May to ease the impact of the coronavirus.

The announcement made by Gov. Tim Walz on Wednesday was anticipated, given some of the comments he has made in recent days about not wanting to reverse any progress made in slowing the pandemic.

Minnesota is among the states with the lowest COVID-19 death rates.

But Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm says the state still needs to do things such as expand testing before feeling too confident. That includes giving testing priority to more at-risk groups.

"People certainly in long-term care, but also child care settings and homeless shelters," Malcolm states. "So we very much want to continue to expand those that are able to be tested with the diagnostic testing."

The stay-at-home order now runs until May 4.

Even though the Walz administration says it doesn't want to risk things by lifting restrictions too soon, it is asking commissioners to work on plans for reopening parts of the state's economy where social distancing measures still can be followed.

Walz says coming up with that plan will include careful consideration.

"What we're learning about what works with social distancing, and what we're learning that

we think we can do economically without jeopardizing the gains we've made," he states.

On Wednesday, state health officials announced five more deaths related to the pandemic, bringing Minnesota's total to 39. Under the stay-at-home order, essential trips still are allowed.

Mike Moen, Public News Service - MN