The Potluck

Gov. Tim Walz to give guidance Wednesday to restaurants, salons

By: - May 20, 2020 1:17 pm

Gov. Tim Walz addresses the state on May 13.

Gov. Tim Walz will give guidance to restaurants and hair and beauty salons at a Wednesday news conference as he continues to dial back restrictions on commerce and other private activity amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Minnesota Commissioner of Employment and Economic Development Steve Grove laid out some guidelines on Twitter Tuesday

Key public health factors from @mnhealth that are important for future re-opening decisions: How close you are to another person? How long you are in close proximity to another person? How predictable the setting is regarding maintaining social distancing?

Grove also reminded Minnesotans of other guidelines: If you can work from home, do so. Retailers may be open at 50% capacity. Large group gatherings are still banned.

Walz, the first term DFL governor, is in a political vise on the reopen issue. On one side, Republicans are pressuring for faster reopening and trying to use legislative leverage to force him to comply. Republicans have also made a cause célèbre out of figures like the owner of a chain of bars around Stearns County called Shady’s, especially after Attorney General Keith Ellison got a temporary restraining order to keep them closed after the owner pledged to reopen early.

On the other side, the Minnesota Nurses Association — a reliable DFL ally — is marching to the Capitol Wednesday, angered that the reopening is beginning while they are left without proper protective equipment and supplies.

The shutdown of the economy is also hitting reliable DFL constituencies hardest, according to new data analysis from the Reformer‘s Rilyn Eischens. Black Minnesotans, women and young people have been most likely to file for unemployment benefits since the pandemic reached Minnesota, she found.

This helpful ProPublica feature allows you to examine states that have reopened to see what the COVID-19 trends are emerging in those states.

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J. Patrick Coolican
J. Patrick Coolican

J. Patrick Coolican is Editor-in-Chief of Minnesota Reformer. Previously, he was a Capitol reporter for the Minneapolis Star Tribune for five years, after a Knight-Wallace Fellowship at the University of Michigan and time at the Las Vegas Sun, Seattle Times and a few other stops along the way. He lives in St. Paul with his wife and two young children