ST. PAUL (AP) -- The Minnesota House passed a bill early Tuesday which provides $200 million to combat the coronavirus pandemic in the state where the number of cases has grown to 54.

The bill allocates $150 million for a newly-created health care response fund. The Minnesota Department of Health will make grants to health care providers in dealing with COVID-19, including testing services.

The legislation also provides $50 million for a contingency account for use by providers,
ambulance services, health care clinics, hospitals and long-term care facilities.

The House action on St. Patrick's Day comes after Gov. Tim Walz ordered bars and restaurants across Minnesota to temporarily close to customers who dine in.

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