Minnesota Gov. Walz plans to extend coronavirus emergency as state reaches all-time high 38% infection rate

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz on Wednesday said he plans on extending the state’s peacetime emergency to handle the coronavirus pandemic for another month.

The governor’s announcement comes as the state records new spikes in cases, which reached an all-time high of 38% on Tuesday — beyond the state’s goal of keeping the infection rate under 30% — from unknown community sources, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

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“The COVID-19 virus is unpredictable, and as we have seen over the past few weeks, it continues to devastate our communities,” Walz said in a statement. “It’s imperative that we have the tools necessary to respond to this public health emergency and protect the health and wellbeing of each and every Minnesotan. This emergency is not over.”

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz speaks about a change in charges to the officers involved in the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in St Paul, Minnesota, June 3, 2020. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz speaks about a change in charges to the officers involved in the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in St Paul, Minnesota, June 3, 2020. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

The peacetime extension will help the state “continue to quickly and effectively respond to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Walz said.

The proclamation marks the fifth special season for Minnesota so far in 2020. A peacetime emergency declaration authorizes the governor to exercise certain powers and duties related to response to and recovery from an emergency in a more efficient manner.

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Minnesota House Democrats attempted to pass a $2 billion capital investment and tax cuts package in May and $1.8 billion package in July, both of which House Republicans rejected after they were excluded from negotiations.

House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt said the bill included “several poison pills that [House Democrats] know are non-starters for our caucus including Bottineau Light Rail language and funding for a train to Duluth.”

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