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The Latest: Attorney general cracks down on price-gouging

March 24, 2020 - 2:07 PM

ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Latest on the coronavirus outbreak in Minnesota (all times local):

4 p.m.

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said Tuesday his office has started cracking down on price-gouging during the coronavirus outbreak.

Ellison says his office began its enforcement efforts immediately after Gov. Tim Walz's executive order banning price-gouging on essential goods during the COVID-19 peacetime emergency went into effect Saturday.

Ellison says so far, his office has received more than 300 price-gouging complaints on goods and services. Those include toilet paper, rice, cleaning products, face masks, eggs, butter and water. Ellison's office has made more than 70 visits to Minnesota retailers during the past four day to check prices and investigate complaints of price-gouging.

“I will do everything in my power to help ensure Minnesotans can afford their lives and are protected from pandemic profiteering by people who are trying to line their pockets during this crisis at Minnesotans’ expense,” Ellison said in a statement. The Democratic attorney general said anyone who sees price-gouging on essential goods should report it to his office immediately


11:20 a.m.

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Minnesota rose to 262 on Tuesday, an increase of 27 from the 235 reported the day before.

The Minnesota Department of Health said 15 patients were hospitalized as of Tuesday out of a total of 21 since the pandemic reached the state. There have been no additional deaths since one reported last weekend. Eighty-eight people who had been isolated no longer need to be.

The department is expected to provide further details at its daily briefing Tuesday afternoon, which will be joined by Gov. Tim Walz, who is self-quarantining at the official Governor's Residence after a member of his security detail tested positive.

Health department officials have stressed in recent days that its count includes only laboratory-confirmed cases, and that the real total of Minnesotans with the disease is likely much higher because most people don't qualify for testing. The department has tested over 5,800 people.

For most people, the coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. The vast majority of people recover within weeks.

News from © The Associated Press, 2020
The Associated Press

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