Minnesota, we have a problem revisited
I was very pleased to see that my recent Star Tribune op — Minnesota, we have a problem — generated not one but two day’s worth of replies. Sadly, many…
On Tuesday, The CDC updated its mandate regarding masks. This news has been welcomed positively by Gov. Tim Walz and could result in more changes in our state. As reported by the Star Tribune,
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz welcomed new federal COVID-19 guidance Tuesday allowing vaccinated people to go mask-free in many outdoor settings, even though it will have little practical impact in a state that mostly required them indoors.
The relaxed mask guidance from the CDC is another sign of progress against the pandemic that Walz said could result in a further scaling back of restrictions and capacity limits in the next week in Minnesota.
“Masks coupled with vaccines is really the path out of this thing,” said Walz, who hoped that the CDC announcement would incentivize vaccination and encourage continued mask-wearing in places where it remains necessary.
The Twins on Tuesday announced a new slate of ticket offerings at a state-mandated 20% capacity through May 30, but Walz said those limits could be expanded for future events because “it looks like we are seeing some plateauing” in pandemic activity.
“The moves coming now are the moves back to normal,” Walz predicted, “because already you can be in restaurants, you can be in movie theaters, we have kids in school. We’re doing most of those things. The next moves are capacity limits coming off and some of those things.
COVID-19 outcomes have been improving in Minnesota. Even though hospitalizations and cases spiked slightly in early April, they were significantly well under the November/December peak. But more importantly, these are improvements are not exclusive to Minnesota or states that have restrictions.
Evidence throughout the pandemic has proved that COVID-19 restrictions have had little impact on outcomes. There is no good reason to keep restrictions in place. Walz should, therefore, fully reopen Minnesota and give Minnesota businesses a fair fighting chance.