Restrictions should decrease as vaccinations increase

Restrictions should decrease as vaccinations increase


Art by Lilia Gonzalez

As the amount of vaccinated Minnesotans increase, COVID-19 restrictions may be lifted as we begin to return to normalcy.

Colin Canaday

As the number of vaccinated individuals is steadily increasing, with no sign of stopping anytime soon, restrictions around the state should adjust accordingly.

With 57% of Minnesotans over the age of 16 having been vaccinated as of April 30, I believe that we are ready to begin our long journey back towards normalcy.

One thing that we can now feasibly and, for the most part, safely do, is have all students return to in-person schooling. Many students had difficulties learning in remote and online environments, so the ability to return to a semi-normal learning environment is certainly a positive. With that said, even with a high vaccination level overall, the number of vaccinated people of the ages 16-17 is still only a little over 41,000, ~1.63% of total vaccinations in Minnesota. It is also worth noting that teens who have been vaccinated only make up ~14% of the estimated 292,000 teens aged 14-17 living in Minnesota recorded in a 2019 report.

Another thing that is now possible, and a particular positive for small businesses, is to have an increased capacity in stores and restaurants. Prior to this, many businesses were struggling, unable to retain reliable customers and make sales. Recently, as of April 15, guidelines have been updated according to vaccination data, allowing 75% capacity for both indoor and outdoor dining at restaurants, and 50% capacity for indoor events and entertainment.

Even with many restrictions now being lifted, there are still a few things that should be avoided. Primarily, one should avoid being in a confined space with many people for long periods of time. Given current guidelines, there appears to be a hard stop on any events that have more than 250 people in attendance at once.

Going forward, more and more people are being vaccinated every day; with an estimated average of around 52,000 doses being delivered per day. The most important thing to keep in mind going forward, however, is safety.  We have all put our lives on hold for the past year, and we are right on the cusp of returning to normalcy, but in order to get to that point, we need people to keep getting vaccinated and to keep practicing proper safety protocols.