Gov. Walz Convening Special Session on Thursday, Plans To Extend COVID-19 Peacetime Emergency
[ST. PAUL, MN]- Governor Tim Walz announced today that he will hold a special session of the Minnesota Legislature this Thursday. With climbing COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths, Governor Walz intends to extend the COVID-19 peacetime emergency by 30 days to ensure that the state can continue to quickly respond to the pandemic.
“This is a dangerous phase of this pandemic. We’re in the midst of a surge in case positivity and hospitalizations,” said Governor Walz. “Extending the Peacetime Emergency will help ensure we have the tools we need to respond quickly to protect Minnesotans’ health and well-being.”
The special session comes after a week of record-setting highs in new cases, hospitalizations, and deaths due to COVID-19. Minnesota’s case positivity rate is above 10%, twice the level at which COVID-19 spread is considered controllable. Earlier today, the Governor announced a significant expansion in testing that was made possible by tools the Peacetime Emergency makes available to the Governor.
“We are still in an emergency, and it’s getting more urgent,” said Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan. “With positivity rates, hospitalizations, and deaths rising, we have to be prepared to protect Minnesotans over this long winter.”
Minnesota’s peacetime emergency is consistent with the ongoing national emergency declared by the President and the emergencies in effect in 48 other states. These states of emergency allow governors and other officials to quickly respond to rapidly evolving threats stemming from COVID-19.