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Gov. Tim Walz to announce 'biggest' loosening of COVID restrictions Friday

COVID is declining and vaccinations rising in Minnesota.

Gov. Tim Walz has said he will announce the "biggest turn" of the state's COVID-19 dials yet on Friday.

The governor says restrictions will be loosened after a period that has seen COVID-19 rates fall significantly since the peak in November, and as an increasingly large proportion of state residents get vaccinated.

He told reporters on Thursday that the loosening of restrictions on businesses and gatherings will be the "biggest turn yet."

This will include allowing fans back in to live sports, albeit with limits, and should also see in-person proms and graduations go ahead this spring. This will have implications for the Minnesota Twins, whose home opener is on Apr. 8.

"I think for proms that happen into May, and certainly graduations in June or whenever they’re looking at, I certainly envision that those will look pretty close to normal," Walz said, per MPR News.

"We’ll probably have folks gathered. There may be a little distancing with masks but it will certainly be larger crowds than we’ve seen.”

WCCO-AM's Blois Olson says sources in the governor's office says Walz will announce the "dial turns" at 11 a.m., with a press conference to follow.

It remains to be seen what happens with bars and restaurants, which are still subject to 50% capacity restrictions indoors, while the size of gatherings and events remain limited.

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