Governor Walz Announces Next Steps on COVID-19 for Minnesota
With a vaccine being shipped all around the country, it appears that there may be a light at the end of this long tunnel, but with the virus still spreading many restrictions will remain according to Governor Walz.
Walz updated the public with the latest state guidelines today that puts getting kids back into school as a top priority, along with making sure hospital capacity stays at a manageable level.
The state's Safe Learning Plan was updated today to allow elementary schools in the state to begin offering in-person learning stating on January 18th if the staff can wear both a facemask and a face shield, and schools are able to provide regular testing.
Here are the other updated "quality of life" changes the state made to its current guidelines:
- Social Gatherings: Indoor gatherings are not recommended, but Minnesotans may gather inside with one other household of up to 10 people. If outside, social gatherings may include up to two additional households (three total) with a maximum of 15 people, starting December 19. Masking and social distancing are strongly encouraged.
- Gyms and fitness studios: May open for individual exercise at 25 percent capacity, or 100 people maximum, with masks and 12 feet of physical distancing between individuals. Additional guidance about group classes, which can begin on January 4th, will be forthcoming.
- Youth and adult sports: Practices can resume on January 4th. Additional guidance regarding the resumption of practices will be forthcoming. Additionally, organized sports activity is no longer directly tied to county case data or school learning model.
- Outdoor entertainment venues: Open at 25 percent capacity, up to 100 people at a time. If food and drink are served, all must be seated.
As for bars, restaurants, and breweries, indoor dining or drinking is still not allowed, but they may now open for outdoor service at 50% capacity with a 100 person max.
Walz also signed a $216 million law that will provide help for small businesses and a 13-week extension of the state's unemployment benefits.
Walz said "There is strong evidence we are starting to turn a corner thanks to the hard work of Minnesotans over the last few weeks to keep each other safe. But we aren’t out of the woods yet. This way forward will help bridge the gap to vaccination by continuing to protect hospital capacity while prioritizing getting our kids back in the classroom and supporting Minnesotans’ quality of life.”