Walz says he has COVID-19 symptoms

Gov. Tim Walz
Gov. Tim Walz talks to reporters in August. The governor said Wednesday he had developed symptoms like a “tough cold” after initially not feeling the effects of COVID-19. 
Tim Pugmire | MPR News file

Gov. Tim Walz said Wednesday that he is now experiencing mild COVID-19 symptoms after testing positive earlier this week and saying on Tuesday he was asymptomatic.

He compared the symptoms to a “tough cold.”

“I kind of heard this for the last week to 10 days of people saying, ‘boy, there’s kind of a bad cold going around.’ That’s probably omicron, just so folks know,” Walz said. “That’s the symptoms I’m experiencing.”

Walz discussed his health following a remote roundtable on the need to expand affordable child care options in Minnesota.

Walz, who is fully vaccinated, announced Tuesday that he tested positive for COVID-19 and is working under quarantine. 

State health officials said Wednesday that the omicron variant is now the dominant strain of COVID-19 in Minnesota based on lab data in the state, just as federal officials say it is the dominant strain nationwide.

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Both Walz and state Health Department officials urged Minnesotans to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and to get a booster shot if it’s been six months since their last shot.

Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm also advised Minnesotans to get tested before holiday gatherings and to wear masks in indoor public places such as grocery stores, shopping malls and schools.

Walz has been vaccinated and received a booster. He joined Malcolm in urging Minnesotans to get tested before and after Christmas gatherings.

Walz said his wife Gwen has similar symptoms. Their son Gus was also sick but is now feeling better. Walz said he is not taking any monoclonal antibody treatment because he feels that should be for people in worse shape

“We’re just taking a couple of Advil and staying at home,” he said.