MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — New restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19 kicked off over the weekend.
Bars and restaurants now shut down at 10 p.m., but a viewer sent WCCO a video of a party bus picking up people outside a bar in Minneapolis’s North Loop neighborhood at 10:15 p.m. Saturday night. Those riders were able to do what the state wanted to stop: gathering and partying after 10 p.m.
The newest restrictions are aimed at 18-35 years olds, which is the group with the fastest case growth. Near the University of Minnesota, where positivity rates exceed 20%, students gave us their thoughts, including Gwynn Bruce said.
“A lot of people maybe haven’t been impacted personally, like don’t know anyone that’s gotten really sick,” Bruce said. “They ‘re just not taking it that serious.”
Student Gabriela Kirou says some of her peers may have a false sense of immunity.
“A lot of them have already had it, and so they think they are immune to it, and so I think that plays a big role in them going out,” Kirou said.
Kris Ehresmann, the Minnesota Department of Health’s top infectious disease expert, says that is a false belief. Ehresmann says you can get COVID again since immunity only seems to last about 90 days for most people.
“It’s a bit like playing Russian roulette. You don’t know if you will be one of the very, very severe cases or not,” Ehresmann said.
There’s a different view of the pandemic among those who are older, according to Scott O’Brien, owner of O’Brien’s Public House in Shakopee.
“There’s a lot of, I think, COVID apprehension out in the market right now, so it was a pretty quiet weekend,” O’Brien said.
He says he hopes next time Gov. Tim Walz will give restaurants more than 24-hours’ notice to make changes.
“Whatever they decide at the governor’s level, it would be great if they could communicate that with us out in the field a little bit earlier,” he said.
Gov. Walz has addressed that issue, saying Minnesota’s infection rates are among the worst in the world, and that the situation right now is so grave that the state doesn’t have the extra tiem to give longer advance warnings on emergency measures
The new restriction for bars and restaurants does allow takeout and delivery after 10 p.m. There is just no in-person dining.
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