FILE - Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz

(The Center Square) – UPDATE: Gov. Tim Walz issued an executive order requiring Minnesota residents to shelter in place.

"We must take bold action to save the lives of Minnesotans," Walz tweeted. "As a former Command Sergeant Major in the Army National Guard, I believe in having a plan – which is why I’m directing Minnesotans to stay at home and limit their movements to essential services. #StayHomeMN."

The order closes dine-in restaurants, bars, entertainment venues, gyms, museums, bowling alleys, movie theaters, hair salons, barber shops and other business.

Essential businesses can remain open, including hospitals and other health care facilities, grocery and convenience stores, liquor stores, gas stations, child care facilities, banks, hardware stores and others.

Individuals should stay at home unless they are going to an essential jobs, buying food or other essential items.

These are trying times. But we are Minnesotans. We see challenges, and we tackle them," Walz tweeted. "No matter how daunting the challenge; no matter how dark the times; Minnesota has always risen up—by coming together. If we unite as One Minnesota, we will save lives."

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Multiple reports say that Gov. Tim Walz is going to issue a shelter in place order at his 2 p.m. press briefing Wednesday.

Exact details aren't yet known. 

Founder of Fluence Media Blois Olson tweeted the report.

Rep. Mary Franson, R- Alexandria, confirmed the report on Facebook.

On a Tuesday conference call, Walz said that he was still studying data and models before he made any further decisions.

Walz said he’s attempting to reduce an overload of COVID-19 patients that would exceed the number of available hospital beds.

As of Tuesday, the state had 243 Intensive Care Unit beds open.

The state reported 287 positive cases of COVID-19 and one related death as of Wednesday. Not all cases require hospitalization. 

COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus, which has symptoms including fever, coughing and shortness of breath.

Most people infected with the virus show only mild symptoms. However, some populations, including the elderly and those with underlying health conditions, are vulnerable to more severe symptoms.

This is a developing story

Staff Reporter

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.