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Videographers distanced themselves from each other as Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, center, addresses the media during a news conference, Wednesday, March 18, 2020 in St. Paul, Minn., where he gave an update on state's effort to slow down the coronavirus.

Minnesota is asking its residents to stay indoors.

Gov. Tim Walz on Wednesday issued an executive order directing Minnesotans - all 5.6 million of them - to stay in their houses as much as possible in the coming weeks as the state makes efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus.

"We’re going to limit movements outside the home except for essential needs,” Walz said.

Residents may leave their homes to perform health and safety and outdoor activities, necessary supplies and services, essential and interstate travel, care of others, displacement and relocation to ensure safety. The order becomes effective 11:59 p.m. Friday to April 10.

“This is by all means not an exhaustive list,” he said, adding that the goal is to reduce 80 percent of social interaction to “bend that curve.”

The governor’s previous order to close bars, restaurants and other venues has been extended until 5 p.m. on May 1. He also authorized the Commissioner of Education to implement a Distance Learning Period beginning on March 30 until May 4.

“Nineteen states, along with many cities, counties, and tribes, have now implemented stay-at-home orders that cover more than half of the nation’s population,” Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said in a statement on Wednesday afternoon. “This is a clear sign that Governor Walz’s order is a reasonable and necessary exercise of state power in an emergency and consistent with Minnesota’s and every state’s authority and obligation to protect lives and public safety.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.


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