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Coronavirus In Minnesota: Gov. Walz Declares Peacetime Emergency

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- As the number of positive coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Minnesota climbed into the double digits Friday, Gov. Tim Walz declared a peacetime emergency.

"The safety and wellbeing of Minnesotans is my top priority, and we are working around the clock to stop the spread of COVID-19," the governor said in a statement. "I am declaring a peacetime emergency in Minnesota to ensure the state is able to respond more rapidly to issues as they arrive. We are looking toward the future and preparing for the next chapters of this pandemic as it continues to evolve."

RELATED: Coronavirus Resource Page

According to the Minnesota Department of Health, 14 people in the state have tested positive for COVID-19. Most of the cases are clustered around the Twin Cities metro, particularly in Hennepin and Ramsey counties.

Per guidance from health officials, Walz is advising individuals and organizations in Minnesota to postpone or cancel events where more than 250 people are expected to gather, ensure space for social distancing at small events (6 feet), and limit gatherings to 10 people or fewer for those with high risk to COVID-19, mainly the elderly and people with sensitive respiratory systems.

Most people infected with COVID-19 show mild systems, such as a sore throat and cough. If sick, people are advised to stay home to avoid the chance of spreading disease. The vast majority of people infected by COVID-19 recover.

Earlier this week, Walz scaled back his supplemental budget request to leave $1.2 billion unspent so the state could respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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