Gov. Tim Walz issues two week “stay at home” order to Minnesotans

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Gov. Tim Walz has ordered Minnesotans to stay at home for two weeks to slow the spread of the coronavirus and prevent it from overwhelming the health care system.

The “stay at home” order begins at midnight Friday. He says the restrictions are critical to buy time and will save lives.

People will still be allowed to go out to shop for essential needs, including food and liquor, see their doctors and buy gas.

But the governor extended his order closing bars and restaurants to May 1.

Takeout and delivery is still allowed. Schools will launch distance learning Monday.

Minnesota’s count of confirmed COVID-19 cases rose to 287 on Wednesday, up 25 from a day earlier, with 26 hospitalized cases, up 11 from Tuesday.

Officials have stressed that the real total of Minnesota residents with the disease is much higher because many people don’t qualify for testing. But more than 11,000 people have now been tested in Minnesota.