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With virus on rise, Walz promotes mask distribution

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Gov. Tim Walz visited Liberty Packaging Wednesday to publicize the state’s effort to distribute 4 million masks as confirmed cases of the coronavirus continued to edge slowly upward.

“There’s no better way to demonstrate our Minnesotan values than by wearing a mask to slow the spread of COVID-19,” said Governor Tim Walz. “We are working to ensure masks are accessible for businesses and Minnesotans throughout the state. I urge everyone to mask up to protect our neighbors, keep our businesses open, and get us on track to return to the activities we love.”

“Masking up is a quick, easy way to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep our communities safe,” said Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan. “As we transition to a new normal, we must center those who have been hit hardest during this pandemic, including people of color, Indigenous people, low-income Minnesotans, and older adults and make masks available and accessible where they are most needed.”

Governor Walz signed Executive Order 20-81 last week, which requires Minnesotans to wear a face-covering in indoor businesses and indoor public settings.

The requirement went into effect on Saturday.

Researchers have advocated for masking, calling it a simple and effective step to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Minnesota has seen an uptick in new daily cases in recent weeks, though not as steep as many other states.

On Wednesday, health officials reported 681 new confirmed cases of the virus, slightly below the 14-day average, and nine new deaths.

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Associated Press

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