ST. PAUL -- Governor Tim Walz says we are in for a "deep dark winter" if we don't get control of the significant surge in new cases of COVID-19 we are seeing throughout Minnesota.

Earlier this week, the Governor announced a new set of restrictions for bars and restaurants and on public gatherings. Walz says we are in control of our own destiny.

We owe it to our neighbors, our healthcare workers, teachers and children to do the things we know that can slow this thing down, make a difference and get us to the other side of this.

Walz reiterates the importance of masking, social distancing and to get a tested until a vaccine becomes available.

On a testing front, Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm says starting Monday they are launching a new text feature for people who have tested positive for COVID-19.

The idea is to more effectively reach and inform those who test positive for COVID-19, and their close contacts, about what they need to do to prevent further spread and to better protect the states most vulnerable population through improved outreach and communication.

Malcolm says the message will let the person know to expect a call and what number will call them, making it more likely people answer their phone and reduces the number of repeated calls by public health workers.

Walz says he understands the frustration Minnesotans are feeling, but in order to get through this, we need to do things right.

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