Walz: Restarting Minnesota economy requires jump in testing

Walz: Restarting Minnesota economy requires jump in testing Click to Enlarge Photo: AP Images

(KNSI) - Minnesota's governor says the state's economy can't restart without a sharp increase in coronavirus testing.

Governor Tim Walz made the statement to reporters on Monday.

"The virus will lay out the timetable for us, and our response to the virus will help us address that. We have to have an accurate way to understand who is infected currently and who has been infected."

He says acting too soon could cost many people their lives.

"Looking at the smart, safe way to reopen the economy, and I think many of the folks across the country believe the way to do this is to significantly ramp up our testing capacity, our contact tracing, and then our isolation."

He says to do the necessary testing, Minnesota needs the test kits, the reagents, the swabs, and the personnel protective equipment, which is all in short supply across the country.

Since Walz issued his original peacetime emergency order a month ago, he has used his emergency powers to close schools, bars, and restaurants, and ordered Minnesotans to stay home.

All the orders have been extended until at least May 4th.

Some business owners and lawmakers are beginning to question how much longer the state's economy can be effectively shut down.