Sunday November 22, 2020
COVID-19 briefing by Gov. Tim Walz and state health officials. GLEN STUBBE – STAR TRIBUNE
Minneapolis (HOL) – Minnesota Governor Tim Walz announced new actions to combat the spread of COVID-19 in the state as numbers continue to rise.
Gov. Walz announced a 4-week pause on social activities as hospitals are near crisis levels.
“Today marks a sombre milestone in the pandemic as we surpass 3,000 Minnesotans lost to COVID-19,” Governor Walz said. “This immense loss strikes at the heart of our state. We are at a breaking point as hospitals near the crisis of turning away new patients, continuing as things are not sustainable. The actions announced today will help prevent more families from losing a loved one and ensure our hospitals can treat those who fall ill. While these actions mean incredible hardship for many, they are the fastest way to recover our economy, keep our kids in school, and get back to the activities we love.”
Beginning Friday, November 20, at 11:59 pm and lasting until Friday, December 18, many in-person social activities with individuals outside tour household is prohibited. Restaurants are limited to take-out and delivery service only. Gyms, fitness studios, event spaces, entertainment venues and other establishments will also need to close. Recreational youth and adult sport will also be paused. Some businesses may remain open but must exercise proper caution.
While the governor acknowledged the new restrictions are “significant and difficult,” he said this new set of rules is different than the more substantive “stay-at-home” orders that he issued in March.
Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan said these precautions would help keep Minnesota safe during the holidays.
“I know the upcoming holidays make it incredibly difficult to stay home and stay apart, but this is how we keep the people we love safe and healthy.” She added that “take it from me, no celebration is worth an empty seat that will never be filled. This dial back will help us do everything we can to make sure our tables are full next year.”