COVID-19 pandemic in Minnesota
|COVID-19 pandemic in Minnesota|
Number of cases per Minnesota county (enlarge image for legend)
Number of deaths per Minnesota county (enlarge image for legend)
|First outbreak||Grand Princess|
|Index case||St. Paul|
|Arrival date||March 6, 2020|
|Hospitalized cases||598 (current) |
|Critical cases||260 (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.
Timeline of outbreak
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 confirmed 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:
- A small business loan program would be made available for possibly 5000 businesses during the week for amounts between $2,500 and $35,000
- All elective veterinary surgeries would be halted
- The budget for the response to the virus would be revised, asking for an additional $365 million
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.
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.
Impact on sports
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.
- Timeline of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States
- COVID-19 pandemic in the United States – for impact on the country
- COVID-19 pandemic – for impact on other countries
- Howatt, Glenn (March 14, 2020). "Minnesota declares peacetime emergency to combat coronavirus as cases rise to 14". Star Tribune. Retrieved March 15, 2020.
- "Situation Update for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)". Minnesota Department of Health. Retrieved May 17, 2020.
- "Mayo finds no coronavirus in first 90 tests". Retrieved March 16, 2020.
- "2 coronavirus cases suspected in Minnesota; officials prep for spread". MPR News. Retrieved March 15, 2020.
- "Health Department confirms first 'presumptive' coronavirus case in Minnesota". kare11.com. Retrieved March 15, 2020.
- "Health officials confirm second presumptive case of coronavirus in Minnesota". kare11.com. Retrieved March 15, 2020.
- "MDH: Anoka County coronavirus patient is in critical condition". kare11.com. Retrieved March 15, 2020.
- "Minnesota confirms third coronavirus case; patient is hospitalized in critical condition". Star Tribune. Archived from the original on March 11, 2020. Retrieved March 11, 2020.
- "Gov. Walz signs $21 million coronavirus funding bill". kare11.com. Retrieved March 15, 2020.
- "Minnesota's 4th, 5th COVID-19 cases surface in Olmsted, Ramsey counties". MPR News. Retrieved March 15, 2020.
- "U of M suspends campus classes, moving instruction online over COVID-19 fears". MPR News. Retrieved March 15, 2020.
- "Mayo Clinic starts drive-thru testing for COVID-19". Retrieved March 16, 2020.
- "MN health: 9 COVID-19 cases now; no plans to close schools". MPR News. Retrieved March 15, 2020.
- "Coronavirus In Minnesota: Number Of Positive COVID-19 Cases Climbs To 14". March 13, 2020. Retrieved March 15, 2020.
- "Number of COVID-19 cases in Minnesota grows to 21". MPR News. Retrieved March 15, 2020.
- "Minnesota schools to close for coronavirus". kare11.com. Retrieved March 15, 2020.
- "Watch live: Minnesota governor updates on coronavirus response". Retrieved March 15, 2020.
- "Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz closing K-12 schools as COVID-19 spreads". Retrieved March 16, 2020.
- "Walz: Schools to remain open for children of health care workers, emergency responders". March 15, 2020. Retrieved March 16, 2020.
- "Walz announces temporary closure of Minnesota K-12 public schools". Retrieved March 16, 2020.
- "Coronavirus In Minnesota: Legislature Scales Back Amid Spread Of COVID-19". March 16, 2020. Retrieved March 16, 2020.
- "Emergency Executive Order 20-04" (PDF).
- "News release: MDH issues updated guidance on COVID-19 testing criteria". www.health.state.mn.us. Retrieved March 20, 2020.
- "CORONAVIRUS & THE LIBRARY | Rochester (MN) Public Library". www.rplmn.org. Retrieved March 19, 2020.
- "Health officials confirm first death due to COVID-19 in Minnesota". Retrieved March 24, 2020.
- "TN's second COVID-19 death was brother of MN lieutenant governor". Retrieved March 24, 2020.
- "Latest on COVID-19 in Minnesota: Cases rise to 262; 15 currently hospitalized". Retrieved March 24, 2020.
- "UPDATE: Walz self-quarantines; Klobuchar's husband hospitalized". March 23, 2020. Retrieved March 24, 2020.
- "'Buckle it up': Walz orders MN to 'stay at home' to curb virus spread". MPR News. Retrieved March 26, 2020.
- "Emergency Executive Order 20-20" (PDF).
- "Emergency Executive Order 20-18" (PDF).
- "Emergency Executive Order 20-19" (PDF).
- "Governor Walz Extends Stay Home Order for Minnesotans". Office of Governor Tim Walz and Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan. April 8, 2020. Retrieved April 9, 2020.
- "Behind rallies to reopen economy, a Minnesota activist and his family". MPR News. Retrieved April 29, 2020.
- "2020 Minnesota State Fair canceled due to COVID-19 pandemic". SFChronicle.com. May 22, 2020. Retrieved May 24, 2020.
- MPR Staff. "Walz temporarily closes bars, restaurants and gyms to curb COVID-19 spread". Minnesota Public Radio. Archived from the original on March 17, 2020. Retrieved March 17, 2020.
- "Minnesota Press Conference: COVID-19 Stay at Home Order". March 25, 2020. Retrieved March 25, 2020.
- "Minnesota Critical Businesses List" (PDF). Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. Government of Minnesota. March 27, 2020. Retrieved March 30, 2020.
- Orenstein, Walker (March 25, 2020). "Who and what is and isn't covered by Minnesota's new 'Stay-at-Home' order". Minneapolis, Minnesota: Minnpost.com. Retrieved March 30, 2020.
- "First COVID-19 cases reported Minnesota correctional facilities, including Red Wing".
- Feinsand, Mark (March 16, 2020). "Opening of regular season to be pushed back". MLB.com. Retrieved March 16, 2020.
- "Silver: NBA hiatus likely to last 'at least' 30 days". ESPN.com. March 12, 2020. Retrieved March 13, 2020.
- NHL statement on coronavirus NHL, March 12, 2020
- NCAA cancels remaining winter and spring championships NCAA, March 12, 2020
- Shipley, John (March 11, 2020). "NCAA decision means empty U.S. Bank Stadium for wrestling championship". St. Paul, Minnesota: St. Paul Pioneer Press. Retrieved March 18, 2020.
- NJCAA cancels spring sports, basketball nationals amid coronavirus outbreak MLive.com, March 16, 2020
- Bieser, Toni. "Brainerd Jaycees Run the Lakes Press Release" (PDF). Facebook.com. Brainerd Jaycees. Retrieved March 25, 2020.
- Galioto, Katie (March 31, 2020). "Grandma's Marathon canceled due to COVID-19". Minneapolis, Minnesota: Star Tribune. Retrieved March 31, 2020.
- Mozey, Brian (April 2, 2020). "Lake Wobegon Trail Marathon cancelled due to COVID-19; replaced by virtual race". St. Cloud, Minnesota: St. Cloud Times. USA Today. Retrieved April 4, 2020.
- Jahns, Isaac (April 6, 2020). "Med City Marathon moved to September". MedCity Beat. Retrieved April 6, 2020.
- Bongers, Mark (April 6, 2020). "2020 Final Stretch Events – Med City Marathon presented by Active PT" (PDF). Medcitymarathon.com. Rochester, Minnesota. Retrieved April 6, 2020.
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