ST. PAUL -- For the first time, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz is giving us a clear picture of why it is important to slow the spread of COVID-19. He says, as of Tuesday, there have been 262 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Minnesota.

I remind people that we have seven of those 262 that are ICU cases, we have 243 adult ICU beds that are available.

He stays what we're striving for is not have anybody who shows up at a hospital that needs a respirator or ventilator and can't get one.

Unlike neighboring state Wisconsin, Walz says he's not ready to issue a "shelter in place" order for Minnesota just yet. He says so far it appears we are adhering to the social distancing guidelines.

It appears that Minnesotans are social distancing better.  There is some cell photo data and other quantifiable data that shows that is happening and that Minnesotans are taking this seriously.

Walz says it is likely Minnesota's current executive order for closing certain businesses like bars and restaurants, movie theaters, and fitness centers will be extended beyond this Friday.

Monday Walz said the infection rate in Minnesota is expected to be between 40 to 80 percent, which is what epidemiologists say is happening globally. He says the vast majority of those cases will be relatively mild. Infectious Disease Division Director Kris Ehresmann says, by comparison, each year they expect between five and 20 percent of the population to get influenza.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app