This Governor Just Imposed "Not Fair" Restrictions
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced new restrictions to fight COVID-19 on Wednesday, calling them "not fair" but "a sacrifice we need to make."
Walz ordered people in the state not to hold gatherings with people from other households. Receptions, private parties and other celebrations are prohibited. Indoor service in restaurants and bars will not be allowed. Gyms, indoor fitness centers, bowling alleys and museums will be closed.
The restrictions take effect Friday and will last until at least Dec. 18. Read on to hear more, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
Cases Growing Fast As Hospitals Fill
"I understand it's not easy and it's not fair," said Walz. "But it's a sacrifice that we need to make. If we don't do that, and we continue to spread, we will with absolute certainty put our hospitals at risk, and those that need the care, as well as the care providers."
The restrictions don't affect schools, child care centers, places of worship, retail stores or hair salons. Walz said contact tracing has found the latter two are not significant sources of coronavirus spread.
COVID-19 cases have grown exponentially in Minnesota, which is now in the top 10 for new infections nationwide.
"It took us 29 weeks to get the first 100,000 cases," said Walz. "It took only the next six weeks to get to 200,000 and it's gonna take less than 3 weeks to get to 300,000."
On Tuesday, the state recorded almost 6,000 new COVID-19 cases and 26 deaths. More than 1,600 Minnesotans are hospitalized with coronavirus, a record.
Experts have warned that if cases proceed at the current rate, the state will soon run out of hospital beds and staff to treat the sick. More than 1,500 employees of the Mayo Clinic are off duty because of positive COVID-19 tests or exposures requiring quarantine.
"Bright Spot" In Sight, Walz Says
Walz addressed "COVID fatigue" in the state, which was subject to a 51-day shutdown last spring. "I know that hospitalizations are going to continue to go up for the next few weeks and I know that the death numbers will continue to go up for the next few weeks," he said. "But the bright spot of this is, the moves we take now will start to bend that at just the time when the potential for a vaccine is coming. That's what's different, Minnesota, this time."
Several states and localities have issued new lockdown measures in the past few weeks, including Ohio, New Mexico, Oregon, Massachusetts, Los Angeles County and New York City.
As for yourself, do everything you can to prevent getting—and spreading—COVID-19 in the first place: Wear a face mask, get tested if you think you have coronavirus, avoid crowds (and bars, and house parties), practice social distancing, only run essential errands, wash your hands regularly, disinfect frequently touched surfaces, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.