by Scott McClallen
Gov. Tim Walz unveiled a COVID-19 dashboard that tracks the most recent available data on ventilators, Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds, personal protective equipment (PPE), and testing.
The dashboard will be updated daily.
“During Minnesota’s Stay Home Order, we’ve worked to collect data, increase the availability of necessary equipment, and develop strategies to address economic and social impacts of COVID-19,” Walz said in a statement.
“This dashboard will provide Minnesotans with timely, accurate information about the data that informs our decisions on COVID-19 response, recovery, and resources.”
Walz implemented a stay-at-home order through April 10 in an attempt to reduce the peak amount of COVID-19 patients, so it doesn’t outpace the number of available ICU hospital beds.
“We’ve been working around the clock during this Stay Home Order to increase hospital capacity and better track the spread of this virus,” Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan said in a statement.
The state reported 789 cases of COVID-19 and 22 deaths as of Friday.
Minnesota is taking other steps as well.
Minnesota Director of Homeland Security Joe Kelly on Thursday said he’s finalizing a request from Walz to President Donald Trump requesting a major disaster declaration.
If approved, that program would provide full federal reimbursement for crisis counseling assistance for Minnesotans whose mental health has been negatively impacted by COVID-19.
Walz has formed workgroups to focus on the following areas:
- Hospital surge: Partner with hospitals to assess needs, build out beds in hospitals and at other sites, and support the workforce
- Supplies: Top procurement officer and team working to buy the ventilators and supplies we need, working with the private sector.
- Testing: Work with hospitals to expand testing and use other strategies to track the virus
- Education and childcare: Manage distance learning and provide care for the kids of workers in critical sectors.
– – –
Scott McClallen is a staff writer covering Michigan and Minnesota for The Center Square. A graduate of Hillsdale College, his work has appeared on Forbes.com and FEE.org. Previously, he worked as a financial analyst at Pepsi.