Governor Tim Walz is sending strong signals that he’ll extend his stay-at-home order set to expire April 10th, with an announcement likely middle of this week. And how long could an extension be?

“I think for us, aligning certainly with some of the federal guidelines that said to the end of April, at least that’s a good starting point — but we’ll let the data and the science drive us about how long we need to do that.”

Walz also says an extension would clarify restrictions on people gathering too close together in outdoor activities. He says Minnesota is doing well in many areas of social distancing — but not so well on outdoor recreation.

“Probably the number-one thing that we get is people congregating too closely in outdoor activities, and it’s one that we hope that in this next stay-at-home order or this next mitigation order that we put out deals with that in a little more clarity.”

Critics are demanding more information about computer models and other sources Walz is using to make decisions about business closures and stay-at-home orders. The governor says he’s using the best data available and if he didn’t think COVID would spread, “we would open up every business tomorrow.”

“I certainly don’t want to set up a false hope that this is going to be quicker and it’s gonna be removed. And I also don’t want to set this too far out… (so) people get frustrated and say, well, how do you know? A lot can change by May.”