Photo courtesy of Glen Stubbe, Star Tribune

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz held his State of the State address Sunday night in the Governor’s Residence, where he continues to self-quarantine, after being exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19. In his address Sunday, Walz delivered a message of hope for all Minnesotans.

“While we might be separated physically, we stand united,” Walz said. “From Rondo to the Range, and from North Minneapolis to North Mankato, we are truly One Minnesota. A new day will come. The sun will shine brightly, the trees will bud and birds will sing. Spring will arrive. And when it does, we will dig out, Minnesota. We will do whatever it takes to support Minnesotans and businesses to get back on their feet.”

He says the communities and state of Minnesota, along with the world, will “be forever changed.”

Walz calls the battle with COVID-19 a “hard, cold reality”.

He addressed the challenges that the virus presents to many Minnesotans who, because of it, find themselves out of work.

“Right at the time Minnesotans are usually putting away their shovels and snow blowers, opening up their windows and emerging from their homes,” Walz says. “We’re bracing for a storm ‘of epic proportions.’”

Walz calls his constituents “resilient people, with a deep reserve of courage, optimism and grit.”

He says his state cannot stop the ‘storm of COVID-19,’ but that his state is preparing for it.

“We are building our hospital capacity so that we can ensure that when our neighbors are sick and need the care that they need, they are able to get it,” Walz said.

Minnesota is also increasing testing, in hopes of better tracking the disease, which has swept the nation and, as of late Sunday evening, claimed the lives of 29 people, hospitalizing 202 and impacting nearly 1,000 individuals. The state has completed more than 26,000 tests.

In addition to increasing testing, Walz says the state is increasing its ventilator and ICU bed supply, in the event it is needed. Another need being worked on, for the healthcare industry, is Proper Protective Equipment, or PPE.

In his address, Walz noted that Mayo Clinic, based in Rochester, Minn., “is leading a national trial” to use the blood of a recovered COVID-19 impacted patient as a treatment for others who fall ill with COVID-19.

In addition,

  • 3M, a St. Paul-based manufacturing corporation, is producing “millions of protective facemasks every month,” Walz says.
  • Medtronic, a Fridley, Minn-based medical device company, is “publicly sharing the design and specifications for its ventilators, to spark rapid manufacturing of this critical equipment,” Walz says.
  • Other companies are producing masks, hand sanitizers and “help in any way they possibly can,” Walz says.

Governor Walz also spoke to students across Minnesota, saying “what you’re doing matters.”

Sunday’s address was the second for the Minnesota Democratic Governor, who took office on January 7, 2019.