There are 986 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Minnesota and 30 deaths as of Monday, according to the Minnesota Department of Health.
As we enter the second full week of the stay at home order, Governor Wlaz responds to concerns about data transparency and the effect on the economy.
The stay at home order is set to expire April 10, this Friday. Walz says he will make his decision this week about what happens next. States like Washington, Delaware, Massachusetts and New Hampshire have extended theirs into May.
The initial model, what Walz called 1.0, he says provided a macro sense of what leverage they have available. But better-informed inputs from the outset would not have changed his decisions after watching what happened in China, Itay and other states.
“I will look back, and I will certainly be the first to tell you, are there decisions that I should have made differently? Certainly. In any case, when this story of this pandemic is written that will be done,” he said. “But nothing was going to change my assumptions that I needed to err on the side of protecting as many Minnesotans as possible, using the best available data. What I am pushing on, and maybe it’s impossible to, in today’s world, stop conspiracy theories before they get going. I will keep asking, trying to get out the numbers that went into that.”
More than 343,000 people have applied for unemployment insurance in Minnesota and it’s undoubtedly having a significant effect on lives. A University of Washington model showed measures are working with the estimated deaths toll downgraded from 2,000 to over 600.
Walz, though, says that one is overly “optimistic” and more narrow.
“There are certain things that are working, but I do think trying to strike this balance you hear so often: are there things that we could do that would keep it just as safe, would not add to the transmission rate, would not put at-risk populations at risk and would allow some economic activity to continue on?” Walz said.
Also from Monday’s update with Walz: he signed 2 executive orders to expand mental health telehealth and to help streamline the unemployment application process.
State officials have set up discrimination helpline: 1-833-454-0148
“It's unfortunate this is happening but it still continues to happen,” Walz said. “We’re still getting way too many calls of xenophobia and racism, especially aimed at the Asian-American community.”