Cases in MN rise to 235, Gov Walz signs 4 new Executive Orders

Tue 3-24-2020

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has quarantined himself after a member of his security detail tested positive for COVID-19. While the governor says he's not prepared yet to order residents to shelter in place, he says he might very soon. 

He says he feels fine but that he will manage the state's effort to fight the pandemic from his home. Meanwhile, Sen. Amy Klobuchar's husband is hospitalized in Virginia with the coronavirus, and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan says her brother died in Tennessee of the disease.

Minnesota's confirmed case count shot up to 235 Monday, up 66 from Sunday.

Governor Walz also signed four executive orders yesterday.

Executive Order 20-14 suspends eviction proceedings during the COVID-19 peacetime emergency. While this order clarifies that tenants who can continue to pay rent during the peacetime emergency should continue to do so, landlords and financial institutions cannot begin eviction proceedings that would remove tenants from stable housing.

Executive Order 20-15 to authorizes the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) to establish a Small Business Emergency Loan program for small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Minnesota’s small businesses and independent contractors are amongst the worst hit by the pandemic. DEED’s emergency loan program will help Minnesota small business owners who need immediate assistance during COVID-19 closures.

Executive Order 20-16 directing all non-hospital entities to conduct an inventory of their PPE, ventilators, respirators, and anesthesia machines, report the result to the state, and either donate such equipment to a local coordinating entity or preserve it.

Executive Order 20-17 clarifies that Executive Order 20-09, ordering all elective surgeries and procedures be postponed, applies to veterinary surgeries and procedures to conserve protective equipment. Surgeries and procedures that prevent loss of life, permanent dysfunction of an organ or extremity, or risk of metastasis or progression of staging for non-COVID-19 patients should not be postponed under this order.