Gov. Tim Walz to loosen bar and restaurant restrictions amid COVID pandemic progress
January 5, 2021
Gov. Tim Walz is planning to announce Wednesday that he will loosen restrictions on bars and restaurants in Minnesota, which emerged from the holidays with hopeful signs of declining COVID-19 hospitalizations and rising vaccinations.
Fitness classes, swimming pools and amateur sports practices resumed on Monday, but Walz's current order keeps indoor service at bars and restaurants closed through Jan. 11. Whether they will be allowed to reopen at partial or full capacity was unclear.
Walz's decision comes amid a substantial decline in the number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized in Minnesota - from 1,864 patients on Nov. 29 to 810 on Jan. 3. The positivity rate of diagnostic testing also dropped from 15.5% in the seven days ending Nov. 10 to 4.7% on Dec. 24 - the first time since Sept. 17 that the key measure of pandemic activity had dropped below the state caution threshold of 5%.