To the editor:

The Minnesota Medical Association urges Gov. Tim Walz and all state leaders to immediately embrace expanded COVID-19 controls to protect the health and safety of all Minnesotans. The MMA welcomed Gov. Walz’s actions of last week to slow the spread of COVID-19 but the growth in infections is outpacing the reach of those changes.

Health care workers are being exposed in the community and those still working are nearing their breaking point. Emergency rooms are overwhelmed. For Minnesotans who want to dismiss the seriousness of COVID-19, please know that your ability or that of your loved ones to receive care for a car accident, stroke, cancer, heart attack, broken bone or other urgent need will be compromised if trends continue or worsen.

Rethink holiday plans this year. Keep your vulnerable family members safe. Celebrate at home with immediate family members only, and celebrate virtually with loved ones of different households.

For the safety of your loved ones and neighbors, stay home. If you must go out in public, wear a mask and practice social distancing. For the sake of your community and our state economy, help us defeat this virus.

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Marilyn Peitso, MD

Minnesota Medical Association president

Minneapolis, MN