By WCCO-TV Staff

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Gov. Tim Walz said an easing of COVID-19 restrictions in Minnesota could come as early as later this week, or early next week.

Walz made the announcement Tuesday at a mobile vaccine event in Richfield, where he said it appears the state’s COVID cases are plateauing after the recent spike, when Minnesota was ranked number two in the nation for variant cases. Walz said numbers are still high, but they’re decreasing.

Gov. Tim Walz (credit: CBS)

Minnesota Department of Health officials said Tuesday that the state is still at “high risk” for community spread, with about 43% of reported cases tied to an unknown exposure source.

The last rollback of COVID restrictions came in mid-March, when restaurants and bars were allowed to operate at 75% capacity, and gym capacities increased to 50%. Capacity limits at religious services and salons were completely lifted.

Entertainment venues were also allowed to up indoor and outdoor occupancy levels from 25% to 50%, with a maximum of 250 people.