Gov. Tim Walz said Friday morning that a statewide “shelter in place” order is possible after Minnesota saw its number of confirmed COVID-19 cases soar past 100.
“Well, I certainly think it is a possibility,” the governor said during an interview with WCCO Radio. “We have to have every tool in the toolbox.”
The specifics of such an order can vary from state to state, but generally requires residents to remain indoors and limit outdoor activity to what is absolutely essential.
The governors of California, Illinois, and New York have issued shelter in place orders for their states. In a letter to President Donald Trump, California Gov. Gavin Newsom said the state projects “that roughly 56 percent of our population – 25.5 million people – will be infected with the virus over an eight-week period.”
Gov. Walz said the “modeling” for Minnesota shows that the numbers are “going to jump way up.” Indeed, Minnesota’s number of confirmed cases went from 89 to 115 between Thursday and Friday.
“If it comes to that and it’s my best judgment that that is what protects Minnesotans, we will go to that,” Walz said.
During a Friday afternoon press conference, Walz said he is prepared “at some time in the future” to issue a shelter in place order if it becomes necessary.
“A week ago Friday I said we weren’t prepared to close schools, Monday we were. Monday I said we’re not prepared at this time to close businesses but we’re looking at it,” said Walz, explaining how rapidly the situation has evolved.
The governor thanked Minnesotans for “their patience” and “for their perseverance” during his Friday morning interview.
“I recognize this has been an incredibly hard week. This has probably been one of the most confusing and disrupting weeks that many Minnesotans have ever seen,” he said.
The Minnesota Public Health Lab has tested 3,856 individuals for COVID-19 and has received 115 positive results. Twenty one counties across the state now have a confirmed case. Hennepin County has the most confirmed cases with 45 positive results and is the only county with more than 20 cases.
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