According to top health officials, Minnesotans are to blame for any new additional Covid-19 restrictions
From the very beginning, Covid-19 has been a nursing home pandemic. In point of fact, by June, about half of Covid-19 deaths were occurring in nursing homes. Just this time last month, out of the total 2121 Covid-19 deaths, 1513 had been among residents of Long term Care facilities. And, by November 5, 1777, of the total deaths have been in long term care facilities.
However, this has not stopped the administration, along with top health officials from blaming Minnesotans for not taking enough precautions.
In fact, last Friday about close to two-thirds of Covid-19 deaths for the day were residents of Long-term Care facilities. But when Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm was asked the same day whether Minnesota state officials were considering further restrictions, she emphasized the failure of Minnesotans to take precaution.
She said officials continue to discuss what measures are likely to work best, but said Minnesotans aren’t following current guidance.
“If Minnesotans were following the guidance that currently exists, we wouldn’t need further dial backs, but just given the fact we’ve not seen those behavior changes, we just need to keep getting that message out,” she said.
Infectious Disease Director Kris Ehresmann encouraged Minnesotans to curb risky behavior in order to stop the virus’ spread to stop the filling of hospitals and the growth in deaths.
“We really need people to take this thing seriously and to make some changes so that we can be ahead of this and not be responding downstream,” she said
She was however not the only one who held that opinion,
“If people don’t limit their social circle and wear masks, it’s going to mean we have to lock down again — likely across the holiday season,” said Dr. John Hick, an HCMC physician who is coordinating regional hospital response efforts. “[It] would be regrettable, because we can take actions to limit spread — but we’re losing control of the infections right now.”
This is why despite no evidence to support people are not taking precautions, new restrictions have been added as of today per Governor Walz’s order
Responding Tuesday to the surging COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Tim Walz announced dial-back measures that close bars and restaurants at 10 p.m. and restrict the sizes of weddings, funerals and indoor and outdoor gatherings.
“We turned our dials [forward]; we are going to have to turn them back a bit today,” Walz said during an afternoon news conference.
In addition to early closing times, counter service will not be permitted at bars, and social games such as darts and pool will not be allowed. Takeout service can continue after 10 p.m., though, and service at cafeteria-style counters can continue.
Group gatherings will be limited to 10 people, indoors and outdoors, from no more than three households.
Wedding and funeral reception crowd sizes also will be limited due to state health data showing that those events have spawned numerous outbreaks this fall and summer. The reductions will be phased in to allow for immediate events in the coming days to proceed as planned. The ceremonies will not affected.
It is true young people are making increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases. However, the fact remains that there is an urgent need to prioritize high-risk individuals, who continue to make up a majority of deaths. And those happen to be for the most part residents of long-term care facilities. The Administration has however failed to outline how closing bars early and limiting family gatherings will protect the most vulnerable. One thing is however for sure; small businesses like bars and restaurants will bore the cost of this new law, even if it does nothing to improve Covid-19 outcomes.