|COVID-19 pandemic in Minnesota|
Per capita COVID-19 cases in Minnesota
|First outbreak||Grand Princess|
|Index case||St. Paul|
|Arrival date||March 6, 2020|
|Confirmed cases||38,569 |
(3,790 health care workers)
|Hospitalized cases||258 (current) |
|Critical cases||125 (current)|
|Minnesota Department of Health|
The Minnesota Department of Health began testing for the virus on January 20. During this time, no cases were positively tested in Minnesota. State health officials were monitoring for potential cases and making plans to contain future outbreaks.
The first positive test was confirmed in the state. The patient had recently taken a Grand Princess cruise on a ship with a known case. The patient was an older adult from Ramsey County and had started having symptoms on February 25 and received medical care on March 5. They returned home to recover in isolation. Governor Tim Walz said "I'm confident that Minnesota is prepared for this."
The second positive test in the state was confirmed in Carver County. A patient in their 50s began having symptoms on March 2 after likely being exposed while traveling in Europe in February. They sought medical care on March 7 and begin recovering at home in isolation.
The third Minnesota patient was hospitalized in critical condition at an Anoka County hospital. The patient is in their 30s and had no obvious underlying conditions. They had developed symptoms on February 28 after being in contact with international travelers which likely exposed them to the virus. They were evaluated on March 3 and released at that time without being tested, which the Minnesota Department of Health had deemed "appropriate". They returned for medical services on March 9. According to health officials there was no evidence the virus was being transmitted person to person in the state yet.
A bill to set aside $20.8 million for Minnesota's coronavirus outbreak response is signed by Governor Walz. This money is in addition to the $4.6 million already in the account for public health response, totaling over $25 million.
Five total cases in Minnesota have been confirmed. The fourth patient is in their 50s, in Olmsted County, and was diagnosed at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. The fifth patient is in Ramsey County and in their 30s.
The University of Minnesota announces the suspension of classes across all five campuses. The University will extend its spring break to two weeks, ending March 18, at which time classes will resume through online instruction. Online instruction will continue until at least April 1 including field experience and clinical. During this time, residence halls, dining services, and other student services will continue normal operation.
Nine total cases are confirmed in Minnesota with the four new cases all considered to be travel-related. The new cases are reported in Hennepin, Dakota, and Stearns counties. All non-critical cases had begun recovering at home in isolation. At this time, the Minnesota Department of Health did not recommend closing schools.
14 total cases confirmed in Minnesota; the new cases are reported to be in Hennepin, Ramsey, Anoka, Dakota, Carver, and Wright counties. As of this date, more than 550 people have been tested for the virus in the state.
21 total cases confirmed in Minnesota. Three people in Hennepin county tested positive, two of the patients are in their 60s and one in their 30s. A patient in their 30s is confirmed in Ramsey county. One patient in their 60s in Stearns, another in their 60s in Renville, and a teenager in Dakota county are also confirmed. All cases are connected to contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19. All seven patients begin recovering at home in self-isolation. 868 total tests have been conducted.
35 total cases confirmed in Minnesota. The ages of the new patients range from 20 to 94 and are reported to be from Hennepin, Ramsey, Dakota, Olmsted, Waseca, and Washington counties. Additionally, the Minnesota Department of Health reports three of the new cases were exposed via community transmission.
Governor Tim Walz announces the temporary closure of all Minnesota K-12 public schools from March 18 until March 27. He says, "My top priority as Governor is the safety of Minnesotans. As a former teacher, and father of two teenage kids, I'm especially focused on the safety of our children." During the school shutdown, meals and mental health services will still be provided to students in need. Under the governor's order, schools will remain open for elementary-aged children of health care workers and other emergency workers. Teachers will be using this time to plan for a possibility of weeks of long-distance learning.
The Minnesota Legislature begins scaling back operations as the State House and Senate will be meeting on an on-call basis. For future meetings, they will be meeting in locations that allow for 6 feet between representatives.
Governor Tim Walz announces in Executive Order 20-04 that all non-essential businesses close until March 27, 2020, citing the first confirmation was the number and it rmed case of community spread, detected the previous day, as his cause for this action.
The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) today announces that due to a national shortage of COVID-19 laboratory testing materials, the state is forced to make adjustments to its testing criteria to focus on the highest priority specimens, including hospitalized patients.
The state confirms its first death due to the virus; the patient was from Ramsey County and was in their 80's. The patient had contracted the virus from a confirmed case. Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan also confirms her brother died due to the coronavirus in Nashville, TN.
The governor makes several announcements regarding the state's response to the virus:
The state has 235 positive total confirmed cases of the virus and 1 death. The governor makes the announcement from quarantine; a member of his security staff tested positive for the virus. He said he is not experiencing any symptoms. The husband of Senator Amy Klobuchar is hospitalized due to the virus.
The state announces a total of 287 confirmed cases of the virus, 26 of which required hospitalization. It is reported that the actual number of cases was likely at least 10 times higher than this number.
Governor Tim Walz signs Executive Order 20-20. This order states that all people currently residing in Minnesota are to shelter in place beginning March 27, 2020 at 11:59PM through April 10, 2020 at 5:00PM. Walz also signs executive orders 20-18 and 20–19. Executive order 20-18 extended the previous statewide closure of all non-essential businesses, which was due to end March 27, 2020, to remain closed until May 1, 2020. Executive Order 20-19 extended school closures and a "Distance Learning Period" was ordered to begin in Minnesota from March 30, 2020 until May 4, 2020.
Governor Tim Walz extended the Stay at Home (Executive Order 20–33) order until May 3 at 11:59 PM. He cited his reason for doing so due to the new data and new discoveries on about COVID-19 since the original order was put in place. He is also allowing hardware and garden shops to open so long as they follow all the Minnesota Department of Health guidelines.
During the early hours of the 17th, President Donald Trump tweeted "LIBERATE MINNESOTA" in reference to Governor Tim Walz's stay at home order. Later that afternoon, several hundred citizens protested the order in front of the Governor's Residence in St. Paul. The protest was organized largely via Facebook by the Minnesota Gun Rights Caucus. Ben Dorr, a head member of the advocacy group, has repeatedly called for the state to reopen and has erroneously claimed that COVID-19 poses no greater threat to public health than the flu. Dorr has two older brothers who are also gun-rights advocates. The three have used their collective social media presence to call for additional protests.
During his usual daily press conference, Governor Walz announced that it was now permitted for people to engage in various outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, hunting, and motor-boating so long as they maintained a safe and reasonable distance from other people. As well as allowing people to engage in various outdoor activities, he allowed golf courses and bait shops to open. Walz stated these plans were conceptualized before the President's tweet and the civilian protest.
Today Governor Tim Walz Extended the stay at home order for Minnesota to Sunday May 17 at 11:59 PM. He stated that staying home is the most powerful weapon to "defeat" the virus and that "we must run the full marathon and not stop at mile 20". Furthermore, he is requiring certain personal to wear face masks and strongly urging the general public to do the same.
Following the killing of George Floyd on May 25, protesters gathered in large groups for vigils, marches and demonstrations, first in Minneapolis and Saint Paul, and later throughout the state. Most protesters wore masks and people were generally able to limit exposure through social distancing, brief interactions, and by being outdoors. While health experts warned that the protests could lead to an increased risk of a surge in COVID-19 cases, testing indicated that few of the protesters contracted the disease. The use of tear gas and pepper spray by the Minneapolis Police Department and the Minnesota National Guard was criticized for creating conditions where the virus could spread more easily by exacerbating respiratory infections, increasing exposure rates, and compromising immune systems.
On March 10, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz signed a bill to dedicate $20.8 million to state coronavirus response.
On March 13, Governor Walz declared a peacetime state of emergency.
On March 16, the Minnesota legislature began scaling back operations and meeting on an on-call basis. Governor Walz also ordered the closure of public places, including all: restaurants, bars, coffee shops, gyms, theaters, breweries, ski resorts, and other public places until at least March 27. Bars and restaurants in the state were closed only to dine-in customers; the businesses were allowed to continue to serve customers by take-out or delivery orders. On March 25, this order was extended until May 1.
On March 25, Governor Walz issued a stay-at-home order, claiming that at this point it was too late to "flatten the curve" with relation to new cases. The stay-at-home order required Minnesotans to restrict activity outside the home from 11:59 p.m. on March 27 until 5 p.m. on April 10. While the order did continue the closure of bars, restaurants, movie theaters, hair salons, and other "non-essential" locations, the majority of workplaces still remained open for some employees in order to provide "essential services." Some of the places deemed "essential" included mechanics (bike and auto), chiropractors, grocery stores, any store that sold food or drink including bakeries, butcher shops, liquor stores, and even popcorn shops. Many restaurants continued to stay open for take-out and curbside pickup. Many retail stores also maintained a skeleton staff and offered curbside pickup, or only allowed a few people in the store at one time.
On April 10, Governor Tim Walz extended his stay-at-home order (Executive Order 20–33) order until May 3 at 11:59 PM. He cited his reason for doing so due to the new data and new discoveries on about COVID-19 since the original order was put in place. He is also allowing hardware and garden shops to open so long as they follow all the Minnesota Department of Health guidelines.
On April 17, Governor Walz announced that it was now permitted for people to engage in various outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, hunting, and motor-boating so long as they maintained a safe and reasonable distance from other people. As well as allowing people to engage in various outdoor activities, he allowed golf courses and bait shops to open. Walz clearly stated these plans were conceptualized before the President's tweet and the civilian protest.
On April 30, Governor Tim Walz Extended the stay at home order for Minnesota to Sunday May 17 at 11:59 PM. He stated that staying home is the most powerful weapon to "defeat" the virus and that "we must run the full marathon and not stop at mile 20". Furthermore, he is requiring certain personal to wear face masks and strongly urging the general public to do the same.
On May 13, Governor Tim Walz is allowing his stay-at-home order for Minnesota to Expire on Sunday May 17 at 11:59 PM. He is doing this as he is allowing Minnesota to enter into a second phase of fighting the virus. He thanked Minnesotans for their sacrifices and efforts on curbing the virus. On May 18, most businesses are able to open but most adhere to the Minnesota's Department of health's Guidelines. However, pubs and restaurants must remain closed; a decision regarding reopening these bushiness will be made no later than the 30th of May. Minnesotans can gather in groups of up to 10 people with close family and friends.
On May 21, Governor Tim Walz will allow all restaurants and pubs with outdoor seating to open on June 1 at 50% capacity and by reservation only. Hair salons will be allowed to open as well at 50% capacity and reservation only. All workers in these businesses are required to wear face masks at all times while on the clock, and customers are strongly encouraged to do the same.
On March 14, St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter declared a State of Local Emergency. The city will no longer be issuing any new permits for gatherings of 50 or more people. He also requested that Ramsey County police suspend all evictions. The St. Paul Public Library, St. Paul Schools, and all parks and recreation centers including the Como Zoo were also closed from March 16 through March 27.
Most of the state's sports teams were affected. Several leagues began postponing or suspending their seasons starting March 12. Major League Baseball cancelled the remainder of spring training on that date, and on March 16, they announced that the season will be postponed indefinitely, after the recommendations from the CDC to restrict events of more than 50 people for the next eight weeks, affecting the Minnesota Twins. Also on March 12, the National Basketball Association announced the season would be suspended for 30 days, affecting the Minnesota Timberwolves. In the National Hockey League, the season was suspended for an indefinite amount of time, affecting the Minnesota Wild.
In college sports, the National Collegiate Athletic Association canceled all winter and spring tournaments, most notably the Division I men's and women's basketball tournaments, affecting colleges and universities statewide. The 2020 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships were scheduled for March 19–21 at Minneapolis' U.S. Bank Stadium. By March 11, the NCAA had announced the championship would continue, but none of the anticipated 100,000 fans would be allowed to attend. The following day the NCAA canceled all spring championships.
On March 21, the Brainerd Jaycees announced the cancelation of the Run for the Lakes Marathon and all other races taking place over the marathon weekend, which was scheduled for April 24–25. The COVID-19 pandemic ended the 11-year streak of consecutive marathon runnings.
Grandma's Marathon was held annually for 43 years, making it one of the oldest continually-run marathons in the country. But on March 31, the staff announced that the June 16, 2020, race was canceled due to concerns of spreading SARS-CoV-2.
On April 2, race officials decided to cancel the Lake Wobegon Trail Marathon for the first time since the race began in 2008. The race runs on the state trail from Holdingford, Minnesota, to St. Joseph, Minnesota.
By April 6, nearly 1,000 people in the state had contracted COVID-19, and the Rochester, Minnesota-based Med City Marathon race organizers decided to postpone their race weekend from May 23–24 to September 4–5.
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