Gov. Tim Walz announces new COVID-19 restrictions

Restrictions on gatherings and bars set to take place


Anna Benishek

The new announcement by Gov. Tim Walz restricts gatherings and closes bar early in hopes to reduce the number of rising cases in Minnesota. 189,681 Minnesotans have tested positive for the virus, with 2,698 deaths since the first cases of COVID-19 found in Minnesota.

Aisha Hersi

According to the Minnesota Department of Health, 189,681 Minnesotans have tested positive for the virus, with 2,698 deaths since COVID-19 was first detected in the state in March. Gov. Walz took that into account on Nov. 10, when he called for restrictions on the sizes of indoor and outdoor gatherings. 

“I have to be absolutely candid in Minnesota — we are in the midst of a significant surge in Coronavirus cases,” Walz said. 

According to Walz, 71 percent of the state’s spreading cases are happening in social settings and noted contract tracers found that the virus’s spread often doubles after 9 p.m. 

“Bars and restaurants will now be limited to 50 percent capacity both indoors and outdoors, with a maximum of 150 people. Dine-in service will end at 10 p.m., although delivery after that time can continue,” Walz said. 

Sophomore Kevin Martinez-Herrera agrees with Walz’s call for restrictions at this time, as he said he is concerned about the safety of his loved ones. 

“He wants us to not lose any loved ones and curb the curve here before it gets out of hand,” Martinez said.  

Sophomore Asha Mohamed has also been following COVID-19 guidelines by distancing herself from gatherings.   

“Walz made a good decision by adding these restrictions because it’s going to at least help lower COVID-19 cases and slow the spread,” Mohamed said. “I’m going to start going out less due to the rise in cases.” 

According to Walz, the 10 p.m. closing time was justified because the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) data shows more bar-related outbreaks occur later in the evening when people become less cautious. 

“We are seeing at least a doubling in infections after nine o’clock,” Walz said.

Social gatherings have received the same curfew as bars and restaurants because those gatherings have been linked to 71 outbreaks and 599 primary COVID-19 infections, according to the MDH. However, Walz said they’re not going to take extreme action for the holidays. 

“Obviously on this issue, we’re not going into someone’s home and arresting them on Thanksgiving,” Walz said. 

Walz announced he will be convening a special session of the Minnesota State Legislature on Thursday, where he intends to extend the state’s COVID-19 peacetime emergency by another 30 days.