Special session comes amid climbing cases, hospitalizations, and deaths
[ST. PAUL, MN] – Governor Tim Walz today announced that he will convene a special session of the Minnesota Legislature beginning on Thursday, November 12, 2020. Amid climbing COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths, Governor Walz intends to extend the COVID-19 peacetime emergency by 30 days to ensure thatthe 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.”
“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.”
The special session comes after a week of record-setting highs in new cases, hospitalizations, and deaths due to COVID-19. Minnesota’s neighboring states have the highest infection rates in the nation. Minnesota’s case positivity rate is above 10 percent, 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.
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.
Since the Governor declared a peacetime emergency, Minnesota has taken strong steps to respond to and provide relief for COVID-19, including enhancing protections for veterans in our veterans homes, activating the National Guard to assist in relief efforts, partnering with Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota to launch a statewide testing strategy to test all symptomatic people, and providing economic relief and stability to those impacted by the pandemic.