Walz to address Minnesotans on efforts to prevent virus spread

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UPDATE: ‘Peacetime state of emergency’ declared in Minnesota amid COVID-19 concerns

Friday, Minnesotans will learn how much will change statewide as efforts ramp up to stop novel coronavirus (COVID-19.)

Several states have already banned large gatherings and Minnesota could soon be added to that list.

Wisconsin Gov. Evers declares public health emergency

Although there are few details at this time, we do know Gov. Walz will be considering community mitigation.

He says the state is in position to be flexible and react.

On Thursday, Walz announced his proposal that will bank $1.2 billion of his projected budget because of the unknowns surrounding COVID-19 and how it will affect the economy.

Walz proposes banking most of surplus over COVID-19 fears

Walz said his proposal ensures Minnesota will be in a strong fiscal position while providing flexibility to the outbreak.

While the United States struggles to catch up in the fight against COVID-19, officials in states with the most cases and deaths are making their own rules to try to stop the disease.

That includes emergency declarations and banning large crowds, some factors that Walz said state leaders are looking into.

"Those contingency plans are happening," Walz said. "I think what you could expect as a group here over the coming day, or days, is to see a much more concrete plan of what that dial looks like. We’re looking at CDC guidance on how to move through these steps of community mitigation. But to be very honest, they are relatively vague in some areas just because of the nature of this virus developing differently."

Walz said they are already working with business communities to stop the spread of COVID-19.

However, there are challenges because some major Minnesota companies, like Ecolab and 3M, have products that are being used as part of the virus response.

That’s why Walz said his team is putting a lot of thought into any plans they’ll be rolling out.

Walz will provide an update at 1 p.m.

Stay with 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS and KSTP.com for updates.

KSTP’s complete COVID-19 coverage

What you need to know about COVID-19