ST. PAUL (LEARFIELD) – The Minnesota Health Department (MDH) reported the state’s first death from COVID-19 over the weekend and said there are at least 169 confirmed cases of COVID-19 statewide.

MDH spokeswoman Kris Ehresmann says the actual number of cases confirmed likely only represent a fraction of the total number of actual cases.

“I think the bottom line is that there is a lot of COVID-19 circulating in Minnesota,” said Ehresmann. “That’s why it’s so important that people take the community mitigation measures seriously.”

On Saturday, Governor Tim Walz signed an executive order activating the Minnesota National Guard for assistance with the coronavirus pandemic.

The order authorized the guard to move personal protective equipment from Camp Ripley in Little Falls to the Minnesota Department of Health warehouse in St. Paul.