Good morning business leaders,
As the Governor announced yesterday afternoon, we are cautiously optimistic about the state of COVID-19 in Minnesota. The sacrifices that Minnesotans have made - particularly in the business community – over the holiday season helped change the pandemic’s trajectory and saved lives. By nearly any metric, the situation has improved.
That’s why starting next week, we’re dialing forward to allow more commercial activity in Minnesota. You can find more information in the Executive Order <http://bit.ly/3bdJDvV> , guidance documents <https://staysafe.mn.gov/industry-guidance/index.jsp> , and FAQ <https://mn.gov/covid19/for-minnesotans/stay-safe-mn/faq.jsp> .
A basic overview:
* 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 by 10 p.m.
* Gym capacity remains capped at 25 percent but maximum capacity increases to 150. Machines and people should maintain 9 feet of distance. Classes increase to 25 people, assuming distancing can be observed. Everyone must be masked.
* 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, or no more than 150 people. Masks required. No food service after 10 p.m.
* Youth and adult organized sports have resumed practice as of Jan. 4 and games resume Jan. 14 with spectators. Inter-region tournaments and out of state play are discouraged.
* Pools opened Jan. 4 for some activity and may now open, like gyms, at 25 percent capacity.
Again, many more details available at staysafe.mn.gov <https://staysafe.mn.gov/> .
While there is much to be thankful for and hopeful about in the New Year, we must remain on guard. While we’re seeing improvement, COVID-19 remains a threat to our communities and our daily lives:
* There is still too much community spread – too many people are transmitting the virus without knowing they’re infected.
* New cases, while down, remain at a level that indicates high-risk.
* Hospitalizations and deaths are still too high.
* And we are tracking a new strain of COVID-19 that is starting to pop up in other states and could be more contagious than the strain we’ve been fighting for the past year.
As we reopen some of these settings, we need your help to get it right. Please continue to use your platforms to encourage people to get out and engage in these settings once again, but to do so safely. Let’s get this right, together, so that we can be dialing even further forward in the future, rather than having to dial back once again.
Thank you for everything you’re doing to help Minnesota businesses, workers, and consumers. The sacrifices you’ve made are extraordinary and your leadership continues to be a shining light of Minnesota’s response to this pandemic.
Steve Grove |Commissioner
Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development
PO Box 612, Moorhead, MN 56561