Exactly nine months after the first COVID cases were reported in Minnesota, Governor Tim Walz issued another executive order, keeping bars, restaurants, and other similar indoor entertainment industries closed to all but curbside service through the rest of the holiday season, with a new tentative reopening date of Monday, Jan. 11, 2021.
The governor gave the order despite the state seeing a significant decrease in the number of positive cases, citing the fact the state is still well within the dangerous area of percent of positive cases among those getting tested. In a press conference held Wednesday, Dec. 16, Walz said the state needs to decrease its numbers back down to where they were in early summer before he can consider loosening many of the restrictions.
One of the noticeable exceptions to the extension is gyms and fitness centers, which can reopen this Saturday. However organized fitness classes will not be able to resume until Jan. 4. This is also the date organized youth sports will be allowed to resume.
Additionally, citing the importance of in-person learning for the youngest students, Walz announced all elementary schools will be allowed to conduct in-person classes beginning Jan. 18, under the condition the school district can properly implement their COVID safety plans.