ST. PAUL -- Governor Tim Walz has officially declared a State of Emergency in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus.

At a news conference at the state capitol Friday the Minnesota Department of Health confirmed a total of 14 cases of travel-associated COVID-19 with two hospitalizations.

Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm announced a list of recommendations to help limit the spread of the infection and reduce its impacts on our communities and health care systems.

Canceling or postponing gatherings with 250 or more people. This will include concerts, conferences, professional and amateur performances, and sporting events. Canceling or postponing smaller events, those with less than 250 people, that are held in venues that cannot accommodate social distancing of six feet per person. Limiting attendance to no more than 10 people for events or meetings that are specifically for and with the majority of participants who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. That would be settings of care or housing for example for the elderly or people with disabilities.

She says these are guidelines, not mandates, and as of right now health officials are also not recommending closing k-12 schools. Employers are encouraged to make teleworking arrangements for employees.

The broad set of recommendations will remain in place until further notice, and each strategy is designed to make person-to-person transmission less likely by reducing the close-contact interactions (interactions with others within 6 feet for 10 minutes or more) that tend to result in passing along the illness.

So far over 550 Minnesotans have been tested for COVID-19, and officials are asking for enough supplies to test up to 1,500 people per month moving forward. Governor Walz says state and federal agencies will continue to work together and the situation is fluid.

The idea that this is nothing is put to rest.

Since the outbreak started in December 2019, more than 134,000 cases and 4,967 deaths have been reported worldwide. That includes 1,701 U.S. cases and 40 deaths as of Friday morning.

President Donald Trump announced Friday he is declaring the coronavirus pandemic a national emergency.

Read More: President Trump Declares Virus Pandemic a National Emergency | https://wjon.com/president-trump-declares-virus-pandemic-a-national-emergency/?utm_source=tsmclip&utm_medium=referral

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