Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has extended the COVID-19 peacetime emergency, which gives the state flexibility in responding to issues stemming from the pandemic.

Both Gov. Walz and  Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan voiced their support and rationale for the extension:

“COVID-19 continues to present an unprecedented and rapidly evolving challenge to our state,” said Governor Walz. “The peacetime emergency has provided us tools to save lives and mitigate the devastating impacts of this pandemic. As cases skyrocket in other states, we can’t let our guard down now.”

 

“The emergency is not over,” said Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan. “Minnesotans are relying on us to respond in real time to a virus that we are still learning more about. We cannot end necessary protections that are saving lives and keeping people safe.”

 

They state that the peacetime emergency has allowed Minnesota to have a coordinated emergency response, with the State Emergency Operations Center remaining fully activated and staffed.

Testing has also been the beneficiary of the peacetime emergency as it allowed the state to broker a "breakthrough testing deal" in April.

The state has also:

  • Established free testing at six National Guard Armory locations across Minnesota throughout the Memorial Day holiday weekend.
  • Reached the milestone of developing a daily capacity of 20,000 COVID-19 molecular tests by July.
  • Completed over 700,000 tests to date. As part of the state’s testing command center, the Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota are now able to provide additional testing capacity to more than 265 health care organizations across the state.
  • Made testing capacity available through the state initiative’s testing command center, which connects the provider with COVID-10 diagnostic testing through Mayo Clinic Laboratories or U of M labs. This supported health care providers when they needed more testing capacity than they had available at their local laboratories, or when an outbreak emerged.
  • Deployed this resource for numerous pop-up testing events, including Duluth, Moorhead, St. James, and Faribault, Mower County, and in Minneapolis and Saint Paul following protests and large gatherings in the wake of George Floyd’s death.
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The extension means the peacetime emergency is now in effect until August 12.  You can follow the link below to read the complete press release from the governor's office.