COVID-19 Guidance: Dials Turning
This week, Governor Tim Walz announced that certain restrictions on various activities and businesses will be relaxed starting Monday, January 11. The governor pointed to improvements in several metrics, including case counts and hospital capacity, as well as the distribution of the vaccine. The changes include the following:
- Indoor dining at bars and restaurants can open at 50 percent capacity, with a maximum of 150 people. Parties of no more than six people must remain six feet from other parties; bar seating is open to parties of two; reservations are required; and establishments must close dine-in service by 10 p.m.
- Gym capacity remains capped at 25 percent but maximum capacity increases to 150 and classes can increase to 25 people, assuming distancing can be observed. Machines and people must maintain nine- feet of distance. Face coverings are required.
- Outdoor events and entertainment continue at 25 percent capacity, but maximum capacity increases to 250 people. Social distancing is required.
- Indoor events and entertainment – like bowling alleys, movie theaters, and museums – may open at 25 percent, with no more than 150 people in each area of the venue. Face coverings are required, and they may not offer food service after 10 p.m.
- Youth and adult organized sports have resumed practice as of January 4 and games resume January 14 with spectators, following the appropriate capacity limits for indoor or outdoor venues. Inter-region tournaments and out of state play are discouraged.
- Places of worship remain open at 50% capacity but without an overall maximum capacity.
With vaccine administration already underway (over 100,000 Minnesotans have received the initial dose), we can finally see the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel. However, it’s still critically important we continue to follow public health guidelines by masking up, washing our hands frequently, maintaining a safe distance from others, avoiding large groups and gatherings, getting tested if we feel sick, and staying home when we can.
Every two years, the committee structure and membership in the House can change after the election. I’m pleased to share I’ll be serving on the following committees this biennium: Climate and Energy Finance and Policy; Health Finance and Policy; and Industrial Education and Economic Development Finance and Policy. I’ll also be serving as the vice chair of the newly established Preventative Health Policy Division.
These assignments reflect my commitment to increasing access to affordable health care and workforce development support and education, slowing the harmful effects of climate change, and developing green strategies that expand renewable energy while creating good paying jobs.
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Thank you for the opportunity to serve you in the Minnesota House.