MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota health experts have carefully lifted the curtain on the model that's informing Gov. Tim Walz's decisions about responding to the COVID-19 crisis.

They caution that while important, it's not the only thing driving their decisions.

The model was developed by experts at the Minnesota Department of Health and the University of Minnesota. The recently updated model projects 22,000 COVID-19 deaths in Minnesota over the coming year. But officials downplay the significance of that figure.

Republican critics of the Democratic governor's extended stay-at-home order often point to a University of Washington model that projects just 456 Minnesota deaths by Aug. 4.

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