Gov. Tim Walz has directed all flags at state and federal buildings in Minnesota to be flown at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021 to remember, mourn and honor lives lost due to COVID-19. On this day, Walz also encourages all Minnesotans to light a candle in their window as a sign of remembrance and unity during these challenging times.

“As of Jan. 16, 2021, more than 5,887 of our parents, children, spouses, friends and neighbors have passed due to COVID-19,” said Walz. “In honor of the Minnesotans we've lostand those who are on the frontlines working tirelessly to protect our communitieswe come together to light a candle, lower our flags and commit to slowing the spread of this deadly virus.”

“Though the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine means the end of this long winter is in sight, the virus continues to cause heartbreak and loss every day,” said Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan. “Dig deep, Minnesota. We can get through this by keeping one another safe.”

Minnesota has launched a COVID-19 vaccine pilot program, partnering with local public health and school districts, Walz announced on Monday. These sites will initially serve adults 65 years of age or older, as well as prekindergarten through grade 12 educators, school staff and child care workers. The community vaccination pilot program will be the foundation for mass vaccination clinics in Minnesota communities once the federal government increases vaccine supply. All Minnesotans are encouraged to remain patient as more vaccine arrives in the weeks and months ahead. 

Individuals, businesses and other organizations are also encouraged to join in lowering their flags to honor Minnesotans who have lost their lives to COVID-19 and their families.

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