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Minnesota lockdown extended for restaurants and other customer-facing businesses

Today, Governor Walz held a press conference to let the state know the next step for the stay at home order. Minnesota’s stay at home order was expected to expire May 4th. Governor Walz has extended the stay at home order for some businesses like restaurants, dining places and accommodation places to May 18th. Retail places can however open for curbside delivery or pickup.

Open businesses are expected and required to maintain social distancing as well as sanitizing rules. The state is focused on keeping the stay at home order in place while the hospitals increases medical capacity. This includes the number of hospital beds, ICU beds and testing capacity.

Hospitals have effectively  increased efforts to build up their stock of medical supplies. And depending on how these efforts go the Governor will announce in a few days whether hospitals can resume their other operations. This will affect elective surgery services and possibly allow hospitals to convene their other services which are not focused on Covid-19. Hospitals have been hard-hit as they have been required to forego most of their revenue bringing services to focus on Covid-19.

Uncertainty for Businesses 

There is certainly a lot of uncertainty that businesses, especially restaurants are facing and this is making planning hard for them. Today’s briefing has not done much to ease that uncertainty. Technically, It is not a sure thing when restaurants would be open, it all depends on how the state moves in the next two weeks. So there is a possible chance this lockdown might be extended come May 18th, if it is deemed necessary to do so.  This uncertainty is bound to have significant impacts on businesses who are already on the brink of collapse. Breweries, for instance, have already expressed it would be hard for them to survive if the lockdown is extended past May 13th.

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