Leaders of top hospital systems in the state are imploring Minnesotans to wear masks, social-distance and follow new COVID restrictions that Governor Tim Walz announced last night (Wed). Doctor Penny Wheeler with Allina at an afternoon (Thurs) news conference with the governor said:

“We’re up here today because we are perilously close to not being able to — even collectively with all of our best efforts… — take care of everybody that we need to take care of in this state.”

CentraCare says 12-hundred staff in rural Minnesota are either out with COVID, on quarantine or taking care of family members. Other major systems report similar numbers: 800 at Allina and 900-plus at Mayo.