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Gov. Walz extends Minnesota's peacetime emergency for COVID-19

The 30 day extension keeps the governor's expanded powers in place through August 12.
Credit: AP
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

ST PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has officially extended the state's COVID-19 peacetime emergency for another 30 days, through August 12.

In a news release, the governor's office notes the executive order gives the governor more flexibility in responding to the pandemic.

“COVID-19 continues to present an unprecedented and rapidly evolving challenge to our state,” Gov. Walz said in a statement. “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 governor's office notes that 49 of the 50 states are under a COVID-19 state of emergency.

Under state law, the peacetime emergency is limited to 30 days, and the legislature must be in session at the time, leading Gov. Walz to call a special session that began Monday.

RELATED: Second special legislative session to begin Monday

Minnesota Senate Republicans continue to call for an end to the governor's emergency powers. The Senate opened Monday's special session by voting 36-31 to end the peacetime emergency; however, the DFL majority in the Minnesota House is unlikely to follow suit.

According to the governor's office, the peacetime emergency allows the State Emergency Operations Center to remain activated and staffed to coordinate the state's response. The governor's office also credits the emergency powers with allowing the state to negotiate an expanded testing strategy, expand contact tracing efforts, and provide support for housing and small businesses.

RELATED: Live updates: Health officials urge Minnesota bars and restaurants to follow guidance

RELATED: Minnesota DVS discontinues walk-in class D driver's permit tests

KARE 11’s coverage of the coronavirus is rooted in Facts, not Fear. Visit kare11.com/coronavirus for comprehensive coverage, find out what you need to know about the Midwest specifically, learn more about the symptoms, and see what businesses are open as the state slowly lifts restrictions. Have a question? Text it to us at 763-797-7215. And get the latest coronavirus updates sent right to your inbox every morning. Subscribe to the KARE 11 Sunrise newsletter here. Help local families in need: www.kare11.com/give11

The state of Minnesota has set up a data portal online at mn.gov/covid19.

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