ST. PAUL, Minn. (FOX 9) - The coronavirus pandemic has brought Minnesota to a grinding halt.
Schools have closed, events have been cancelled, and many businesses have shut down as leaders have worked to slow the spread of the disease and prevent hospitals from being overloaded.
Governor Walz issued a stay-at-home order that took effect starting March 27, urging Minnesotans to stay inside their home and avoid large gatherings.
Speaking Sunday, during his State of the State address, the governor made it clear that more difficult times were still ahead for the state, but promised we'd get through the hardship.
"We are used to long winters in Minnesota," Walz said. "We are resilient people with a deep reserve of courage, optimism, and grit. But this will be a winter like we’ve never seen before."
Unlike your average State of the State, Walz spoke only for about 12 minutes and dedicated the talk to one subject: Fighting the coronavirus.
Walz admitted the response to the pandemic has been tough on Minnesotans from all walks of life. But, Walz promised the state was working hard to slow the outbreak while readying for the worst.
"We are building our hospital capacity so that we can ensure as many Minnesotans as possible receive the care they need when they need it," he said. "We are increasing testing to better track the disease. We are increasing ventilators and ICU beds for when people fall ill."
He also reiterated how important self-isolation is to combat the virus.
"What you are doing isn’t paralysis—it’s action," Walz explained. "Staying home reduces face-to-face contact and thus the threat of virus transmission by up to 80 percent. Staying home is the only vaccine we have right now."
"While we may be separated physically, we stand united," said Walz. "From Rondo to the Range, from North Minneapolis to North Mankato, we are One Minnesota.
"And a new day will come," he added. "The sun will shine. The trees will bud. The birds will sing. Spring will arrive. And when it does, we will dig out. We will do whatever it takes to support Minnesotans and businesses to get back on their feet."