MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Republican state lawmakers are urging Democratic Gov. Tim Walz to allow gyms and fitness centers in Minnesota to reopen next week.
On Thursday, Republicans in the state House of Representatives sent a letter to the governor, Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm, and Department of Employment and Economic Development Commissioner Steve Grove, calling for them to allow gyms and fitness centers to reopen by Dec. 18 or earlier.
“While we share a common goal of keeping Minnesotans safe and slowing the spread of the pandemic, the data simply does not support keeping these facilities closed,” the letter said, in part. “It is devastating to the business, their employees, and the health and wellness of Minnesotans who rely on their services.”
Currently, gyms in Minnesota are ordered to be closed as part of a four-week period of tightened COVID-19 restrictions in response to a recent explosion of cases, hospitalizations and deaths. Walz ordered the restrictions last month, and they are set to expire on Dec. 18.
However, the governor’s office said Thursday that an update on the restrictions will come Monday. It’s yet unknown if they’ll be extended or curtailed. Health officials have been monitoring the spread of the virus, particularly in the wake of the Thanksgiving holiday, which saw millions of people traveling and gathering against experts’ recommendations.
Also next week, Minnesota lawmakers will meet for the seventh special session of the year, during which they are expected to work on a relief package for businesses reeling from the pandemic and related restrictions. According to the governor’s office, lawmakers are close to reaching a relief deal.
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