Posted at 11:10 a.m.
This article will be updated as more information becomes available.
The Minnesota Department of Health confirmed today an increase of 594 of positive COVID-19 cases in the state, and an additional 28 deaths. That brings the total to 5,730 of cases and 371 of deaths.
So far, there have been 74,829 Minnesotans tested for the disease, an increase of 4,553 since Thursday. Over 2,200 have recovered to the point they no longer need isolation.
To date, 1,096 have been hospitalized for COVID-19. There are currently 369 in the hospital and 118 in the ICU, a decrease of 12 since yesterday.
Governor Walz signed Executive Order 20-48 Thursday to extend the stay at home order until Monday, May 18. This means Minnesotans need to continue to stay home except for essential needs to decrease the spread of COVID-19. For more information and answers to frequently asked questions, visit COVID-19 Updates and Information.
Starting Monday, May 4, retail businesses and other non-critical businesses may begin offering curbside pick-up. This will put up to 30,000 Minnesotans back to work in a safe, coordinated way, according to a release.
The move has not been met without criticism. House and Senate Republicans argue that big box stores have been allowed customer traffic, but the same opportunities have not been extended to small business retailers.
Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka tweeted this Thursday:
I think it’s a fair question to ask whether people will feel comfortable enough to visit businesses of their choosing if they are allowed to open up again. Looking at the parking lots at Target, Walmart, Menards, etc., I think I know the answer.
— Paul Gazelka (@paulgazelka) April 30, 2020
Minnesotans are also recommended to wear a homemade mask when they leave their homes to any place where social distancing is difficult, continue to telework whenever possible, screen for symptoms and regularly check their temperature, and maintain physical distance from each other.
Great River Rescue has announced it will re-open its companion animal shelter on Tuesday, May 12. The shelter, which was temporarily closed on March 27 due to the public health emergency, will return to full operation with new procedures to promote social distancing norms. Read more about it here.
Almost immediately after Moondance Jammin’ Country was postponed until 2021, the Kick’n Up Kountry music festival in Karlstad has also been postponed until 2021. Ticket holders for the 2020 event will be issued replacement tickets by event organizers. Read more about it here.
MDH confirmed today there are six of COVID-19 cases in Beltrami County, five in Itasca, five in Cass and two in Clearwater County.
Nearby Polk County has 27 cases. Becker has five cases, Marshall now has two, Mahnomen also has two cases and Pennington, Koochiching and Roseau Counties each have one case.