TWIN CITIES, MN — Gov. Tim Walz says there will be more restrictions as Minnesota continue to see record-breaking rates of coronavirus infections. It's not yet clear what those restrictions will be, but Walz suggested that they won't be the broad-based measures that were implemented back in the spring.
"As we peak right now, I think it is obvious we are going to have to have more mitigation measures," the governor told reporters Monday. "Here in Minnesota, we are going to be targeted."
Walz noted that Minnesota hospitals are reaching their capacity to treat COVID-19 as the state sees record-setting highs in not only new cases, but also hospitalizations, ICU-rates, and deaths.
At the same news conference Monday, Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm called the latest surge "very terrifying."
"In Minnesota, we’ve had alarming numbers for several days now," she said, citing Saturday's daily record of nearly 8,700 cases. The state saw close to 24,000 cases of COVID-19 over a three-day period, with an average of about 8,000 each day.
Thanksgiving in Minnesota
In a shift from guidance issued earlier this month, Walz and Malcolm are now asking Minnesotans not to gather with other households for Thanksgiving or other events, given the state's high rate of infections.
"Right now, frankly, any gathering of more than a few people and with more than your immediate household presents a much higher risk than was the case even a couple of weeks ago," Malcolm said.
Health officials reported 7,444 new cases of COVID-19 Monday, along with 12 deaths. The state's overall COVID-19 death toll is now at 2,917 and may reach 3,000 deaths within the week.
Minnesota's neighboring states have the highest infection rates in the U.S., and Minnesota's own case positivity rate is above 10 percent. That is double the level at which COVID-19 spread is considered controllable, according to state officials.