Gov. Tim Walz set to announce new COVID-19 restrictions at Tuesday press conference

He will reportedly reduce the opening hours of bars and restaurants.


UPDATE 11 A.M.: More details are emerging about Gov. Walz's new restrictions. Click here for details.

Gov. Tim Walz is expected to announce new restrictions in response to Minnesota's spiraling COVID-19 crisis at a Tuesday press conference.

Walz's office has announced he will speak at 2 p.m., which comes after a period of weeks in which Minnesota's COVID-19 situation has escalated dangerously to the point that thousands of new cases are being reported every day, deaths are rising, and the state's hospitals are nearing capacity.

While Walz and state health officials have previously played down the notion of a return to the blanket "Stay at Home" lockdown seen in the spring, Walz did say Monday that he was planning more "surgical" mitigation strategies aimed at limiting spread of the virus.

According to WCCO, this is expected to include requiring bars and restaurants to close at 10 p.m., with other restrictions expected on weddings and group events. 

The TV station said the new measures are aimed at the 18-35 age group, who have been among the primary drivers of the virus' spread.

On Monday, Health Commissioner  Jan Malcolm cited "workplaces, retail, celebratory events, bars and restaurants" as among source of the virus' spread, while also noting that small, private gatherings are also a significant driver.

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"At this point in time, we’ve learned we can do retail, we can do education, some of it in person, if we’re able to test, contain and contact trace those folks to get [their infections] isolated," Walz said.

"We are not demonizing, nor should anyone, this environment," Walz added, referring to the hospitality industry.

"It's just a riskier environment. But in all fairness, you gathering with 3 or 4 families in your backyard – or worse yet in your garage for a celebration – would have an equally detrimental affect. And we'll have to target those too. I think you'll see tomorrow we're going to try and be much more surgical about this."

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