MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Gov. Tim Walz says it appears Minnesotans have followed the guidelines during the latest round of restrictions due to COVID-19. He’s waiting for guidance from experts before making a decision on whether or not to extend current restrictions. That decision will be made on Wednesday (after originally saying the decision would be made on Monday).
Still, with one week before our latest round of restrictions are set to expire, the governor and health officials stress that Minnesota is not yet out of the woods.
So far, the data shows Walz that many Minnesotans followed the guidance and avoided Thanksgiving gatherings. Three weeks into his four-week pause on things like dining in at restaurants, Walz says he knows people are tired of restrictions but adds that it’s important to remember why we’re doing it — to help relieve the pressure on doctors like Dr. Peter Bornstein, who see heartbreaking scenes daily.
“There was another sound I heard: crying. He wasn’t crying, he had a tube down his throat. He couldn’t say anything, and it wasn’t just crying, it was sobbing,” he explained. “I realized there was an iPad by his bed on a stand, and on the iPad was a young woman watching her father, and she was crying.”
Whether it was because of added restrictions or Minnesotans changing their own behaviors, the governor says it looks like we’re coming over the top of our latest peak, but he needs more time to see if the progress holds up before he makes a decision on his expiring restrictions.
“I think we’re going to need a little more time to get this right. We’re working with a lot of folks to gather that data,” he said.
Some restaurants and bars in Minnesota have opened anyway, defying the order.
“I understand where you’re at, but you also have to understand from [health workers’] perspective, every time we do, that makes their jobs harder,” Walz said.
The governor says he hopes the Minnesota legislature can pass a relief package on Monday. It would help businesses like restaurants and bars that he says have been unfairly hit because of the nature of the virus and how it spreads.