St Paul (Learfield News Service) - Governor Tim Walz in his State of the State address Sunday night laid out a grim view of what's ahead for Minnesota in the COVID-19 pandemic, but said Minnesotans are up to the challenge and the state will come out better on the other side:

"These last few weeks have been difficult, but it's only going to get harder.... We're going to do everything in our power to save lives, and as hard as we work, we're not gonna be able to save everyone. It's going to be a cold, long winter. But how do we get through cold, long winters? We get through 'em together, as one Minnesota."

Walz lauded first responders and Minnesota's medical industry, adding the work that individual Minnesotans and small companies are doing is also saving lives.

Walz says the state is building hospital capacity, increasing the number of ventilators and ICU beds, and doing more testing. The governor says the state is also doing its best to find more personal protective equipment for medical personnel.

Walz thanked students for their sacrifices, told parents he knows how hard this is, and urged everyone to "be kind to yourselves and be kind to each other. We're all doing the best we can, and that's all we can do," the governor says.

Walz had this message for parents:

"I know how hard this is. Many of you are trying to watch your children at the same time you're trying to work from home. Many of you are out of work and you're worried about the bills that are coming due. This is hard.... Take a deep breath. Be kind to yourselves and be kind to each other. We're all doing the best we can, and that's all we can do."

Walz Sunday also requested a major disaster declaration from the federal government which would help cover the state’s expenses in dealing with the virus crisis.

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