Re-opening Minnesota’s Economy

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Governor Tim Walz is expressing plans to open up the ecnonomy. While schools will continue online for the rest of the year, it looks like measures on businesses and activities could be loosened. As of right now, permitted outdoor activities include boating, fishing, golfing, hunting, and hiking, provided we continue to practice social distancing, like staying 6 feet apart from each other. Putting loosened measures on outdoor activities aside, however, the main goal is to reopen businesses.

Walz made a statement Thursday, and, according to The Star Tribune, Walz is also “allowing retailers to reopen with curb side pickup or delivery for customers”. Bars and restaurants in Minnesota are remaining closed, although they continue to be able to offer take-out and curb-side pickup or delivery. The announcement opens up other non-essential retailers, putting 30,000 Minnesotans back to work. For services that depend on customers coming indoors, such as barbershops and salons, they will only be allowed to sell products through a curb-side pickup, and not offer their indoor services, like a haircut.

Today on Twitter, he said, “We’ve made meaningful progress in the fight against COVID-19, but we all need to continue to slow the spread of this virus. That means … wear cloth masks, maintain social distance and stay at home if you can.”

As for the stay-at-home order, it will remain in effect for at least 2 more weeks, until May 18. Walz has hope that small businesses will soon be allowed to reopen with social distancing measures put in place. For hospitals, there are talks with medical professionals for starting scheduled surgeries and dental care visits back up again. For those waiting to take their road tests, unfortunately, there hasn’t been much word on DVS re-openings. They are following Walz’ May 18 extension, and say that scheduling and re-scheduling will be available once they open back up.

With all of the planned re-openings, tests and cases are also going up. The Minnesota Health Department has expressed confidence that hospitals are prepared for the likely surge in cases. State-wide COVID-19 cases have hit more than 5,000 now. The Health Department, however, has optimistic data, showing 42 percent of the tested-positive Minnesotans have since recovered to the point where they no longer need to isolate. On Wednesday, the state conducted 3,279 completed daily tests.

When asked when the state can truly restart the economy again, Walz said that he wants to see 5,000 tests per day before the economy can reopen. It’s an ambitious number, one that’ll take a lot of work. Walz expressed that, right now, Minnesotans are urged to continue wearing cloth masks and social distancing, as the state continues to set plans for re-opening measures.