Governor Tim Walz today announced that he will convene a special session of the Minnesota Legislature beginning on October 12, 2020. Governor Walz intends to extend the COVID-19 peacetime emergency by 30 days to ensure that the state can continue to quickly and effectively respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The COVID-19 virus is unpredictable, and as we have seen over the past few weeks, it continues to devastate our communities,” said Governor Walz. “It’s imperative that we have the tools necessary to respond to this public health emergency and protect the health and wellbeing of each and every Minnesotan. This emergency is not over.”

“The COVID-19 virus has claimed the lives of more than 2,000 Minnesotans. Each one is a neighbor, a family member, and a friend. Every one was somebody’s somebody.” said Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan. “We must be prepared to respond quickly and efficiently in order to keep Minnesotans safe. And in turn, we need every Minnesotan to take prudent steps to protect themselves, their loved ones, and their neighbors. While we know Minnesotans are feeling fatigued by the pandemic, it’s more important than ever before that we look out for one another to stop the spread of COVID-19.”

Minnesota’s peacetime emergency is consistent with the ongoing national emergency declared by the President and the emergencies declared in every state in the U.S. 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.