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Walz reveals online portal for Minnesotans to find COVID-19 data

"You deserve to be as well versed as possible," Gov. Tim Walz said as he revealed the online portal.

ST PAUL, Minn. — Gov. Tim Walz gave a live video address from his residence Friday, revealing a data portal where Minnesotans can find information on the state's fight against COVID-19.

"I know these actions are painful. They're painful both social isolation wise, and they're painful economically," he said. "It's difficult when we don't see an end to it, or we don't see a clear path."

Walz said "more than likely it will come back for a second wave" but by that time he believes the state will be ready to treat and test COVID-19.

He said social distancing is working, and Minnesota needs to continue doing it.

"What you’re doing is unprecedented, and making a difference not just in the lives of you and your family but in others," he said.

Walz revealed a dashboard at mn.gov/COVID19 to help Minnesotans navigate the data that the state has on coronavirus, as well as all the resources for public health information and unemployment. The site shows Minnesotans data on current social distancing trends, child care capacity, critical care supplies, and hospital surge capacity.

"A lot of folks are not putting out this information because they feel it might create a sense of panic," Walz acknowledged.

"You are buying us the time," he said, so the government will provide data to show people what exactly that time is buying.

"If you get it and need hospitalization, that care will be there for you," Walz said.

The governor also outlined the work groups addressing major areas of response:

  • Hospital surge: Partner with hospitals to assess needs, build out beds in hospitals and at other sites, and support the workforce.
  • Supplies: Top procurement officer and team working to buy the ventilators and supplies we need, working with private sector
  • Testing: Work with hospitals to expand testing and use other strategies to track the virus.
  • Education and child care: Manage distance learning and provide care for the kids of workers in critical sectors.

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Walz said that Minnesotans deserve to be well informed on the facts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the data the state government is relying on, and the decisions they're making.

"You deserve to have information," he said. "You deserve to be as well versed as possible."

He said they are also working on long-term planning and recovery for:

  • Protecting people: Isolating and supporting those most vulnerable to COVID-19
  • Food: Ensuring everyone has enough food, especially those in need
  • Economic security: Providing support to people and businesses to help weather the economic storm

"There are promising therapeutics on the horizon," Walz said, "but it takes time."

"States that are requesting 10,000 ventilators are not going to get them because they're not there," Walz said. He called for innovation in the way Minnesota tackles the pandemic.

"There are ways that we can do this as we strategically plan," Walz said.

He said some of that strategy may involve states helping each other as waves hit different places at different times.

"The peak will come to Minnesota," he said. "We are still early out. You have made it possible to push it out further ... but it will come."

Walz said the peak will most likely come before Minnesota has therapeutics or a vaccine. But he emphasized that the state has a plan.

"We continue to use data to keep us separated long enough to make sure fewer of us get infected," he said. "When it comes to Minnesota, our intention is that every single one of you gets all the care we can provide you."

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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 companies in Minnesota are hiring. 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 hotline for general questions about coronavirus at 651-201-3920 or 1-800-657-3903, available 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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