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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — On Wednesday, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced the “phased plan” for restaurants and other businesses to reopen next month. Under the plan, restaurants will be able to host outdoor dining starting June 1, provided that social distancing in enforced. Salons will also be able to open at the start of the month, given that they reduce capacity to 25% and have staff wear personal protective equipment. Restrictions will remain in place for gyms and places of worship.
Here are the latest updates in the COVID-19 pandemic:
- 6 p.m.: President Donald Trump orders flags to fly half-staff at all federal buildings and national monuments for the next three days to honor COVID-19 victims.
- 5 p.m.: Stauber, Emmer and Hagedorn send letter urging Gov. Walz to release federal funding to rural Minnesota.
- 4 p.m.: The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will reopen its campgrounds at state parks, state forests and recreation areas in a phased approach beginning June 1.
- 3:30 p.m.: The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum will open up for walking on May 22.
- 3:15 p.m.: The American Legion Department of Minnesota has sent an open letter to Gov. Tim Walz, calling on him to “remove restrictions on opening its posts.”
- 2:15 p.m.: Wisconsin health officials report six more COVID-19 related deaths in the past day, for a total of 487.
- 1:45 p.m.: Republican state lawmakers say they will demand restaurant patio seating start in time for Memorial Day, rather than on June 1.
- 12:45 p.m.: Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey is set to sign an emergency regulation requiring people in the city to wear cloth face masks or coverings when they’re in any public indoor spaces.
- 12:17 p.m.: Unemployment in Minnesota jumped to 8.1% in April, officials say. Meanwhile in Wisconsin, unemployment hit 14.1% last month, a level not seen since the Great Depression.
- 11 a.m.: Officials report 539 new cases of COVID-19 and 32 additional fatalities. The state’s death toll is now over 800.
- 10 a.m.: A lawsuit arguing that Minnesota churches are being treated unfairly under Gov. Tim Walz’s executive orders will get a hearing next week.
- 9:10 a.m.: The Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa has asked non-residents to avoid the use of tribal roads, trails, lakes and lake shores on the Grand Portage Reservation as it responds to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- 9 a.m.: Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz says a large supply of testing equipment purchased by the state has been intercepted and diverted by the federal government.
- 8:40 a.m.: The City of River Falls announced today the availability a $500,000 revolving loan fund to assist local businesses negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- 8:28 a.m.: Salon owners in Minnesota are preparing to reopen on June 1 with restrictions in place.
- 7:34 a.m.: Another 4 million Americans have joined the ranks of the jobless in the last week. Since the outbreak began, the total number of workers who’ve applied for unemployment benefits is more than 40 million.
- 5:27 a.m.: Researchers say that global COVID-19 cases have surpassed 5 million.
- 5:15 a.m.: Pier 1 Imports is going out of business and will permanently close all 540 of its stores.
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