Minnesota to Allow Existing Stay-at-Home Order to Expire Sunday Night
Thursday, May 14, 2020
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- There will be no extension of Minnesota's current stay-at-home order that was prompted by the coronavirus pandemic.
In a statewide address Wednesday night, Gov. Tim Walz said it will expire at midnight Monday.
In making his announcement, Walz noted that Minnesota's receptiveness to social distancing has allowed the state to build enough hospital capacity to deal with COVID-19 cases.
"We've successfully pushed out and reduced the peak of this virus," he stated. "We've made great progress to ensure we can treat Minnesotans who fall ill."
Walz also mentioned the state's effort to increase testing, noting that more than 6,700 tests were recorded Wednesday.
Walz previously had said Minnesota needed at least 5,000 tests a day to help create an environment for reopening. Under the revised plan, non-critical businesses such as retail stores that have safety measures can reopen with 50% capacity, and people can gather in groups of less than 10.
Other states are taking similar steps to slowly reopen their economies.
The move comes amid recent warnings from public health officials who say easing restrictions too soon could lead to new coronavirus outbreaks.
The Minnesota Nurses Association expressed concern about the governor's action, citing gear and capacity issues at hospitals.
In his address, Walz warned that the state might go back to tighter restrictions if outbreaks flare up again.
"This situation's fluid," he stressed. "There's much we still don't know about this virus. And as I said previously, we must be prepared to dial back if needed."
Walz said customers who go to stores that are allowed to reopen should wear masks. He also said bars, dine-in restaurants and salons remain closed, but the state is working on a plan for them to possibly reopen in a phased approach beginning June 1st.
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