Governor Walz Expected to Loosen Minnesota Bar + Restaurant Restrictions
Minnesota has shown some progress with key pandemic numbers as of late and multiple sources are stating it will lead Governor Tim Walz to loosen restrictions.
While fitness classes, swimming pools, and amateur sports practices resumed on January 4, indoor service at bars and restaurants was ordered closed through Monday, January 11. However, the governor is expected to announce new guidelines that would involve a loosening of the current bar and restaurant restrictions. The announcement is expected during a press conference on Wednesday, January 6.
According to StarTribune.com:
Walz's decision comes amid a substantial decline in the number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized in Minnesota — from 1,864 patients on Nov. 29 to 810 on Jan. 3. The positivity rate of diagnostic testing also dropped from 15.5% in the seven days ending Nov. 10 to 4.7% on Dec. 24 — the first time since Sept. 17 that the key measure of pandemic activity had dropped below the state caution threshold of 5%.
What exactly the new guidelines will be is anyone's guess as of right now, but it would be safe to assume that some form of indoor service will return to Minnesota bars and restaurants.
Health officials are quick to point out that while there have been encouraging pandemic numbers recently in Minnesota, we still may see holiday-related spikes. Also, if people fail to remain diligent with social distancing, mask-wearing, and other commonly known precautions, things could still take a turn for the worse.
The next phase of getting through the pandemic, of course, is getting the vaccinations out to residents. Gov. Walz is also expected to address this topic during his Wednesday press conference, which is scheduled to start at 2:00 p.m.