Minnesota Nurses Association has 'reservations' over lifting of Stay at Home

The union says that too many nurses go without adequate PPE.
Publish date:

The Minnesota Nurses Association says it has "reservations" about Gov. Tim Walz's decision to allow Minnesota's Stay at Home order to expire on Monday.

The order will be replaced with a "Stay Safe" order, which allows malls and non-essential retail to re-open at 50 percent capacity, while the state is working on a plan with the hospitality industry to possibly re-open bars, restaurants, fitness centers and salons on June 1.

On Wednesday, Gov. Walz said that the state is able to do this now that it has built up the ICU capacity and stores of personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline healthcare workers required in the event of a surge.

However, the Minnesota Nurses Association has expressed concerns that the state has not increased testing for COVID-19 at the rate it had promised, and despite the state being confident of its PPE stocks, that doesn't mean supplies find its way to every hospital and every nurse who needs it.

"The Minnesota Nurses Association has reservations with the timing of lifting the state's shelter-in-place orders at a time when hospitals continue to dangerously ration PPE, new supply lines have not appeared in state warehouses, and the Minnesota Department of Health still cannot show that testing has dramatically increased," the union said in a statement Wednesday.

"Nurses also hope to re-open Minnesota businesses as soon as possible, but, just as many other Minnesotans have expressed, it’s not possible to do so without jeopardizing the safety of healthcare workers and all Minnesotans.

"Nurses believe that the decision to turn the dial to re-open Minnesota requires every Minnesotan to turn the dial to find more PPE, more beds, and more tests while protecting healthcare workers and each other."

One of the major concerns brought up by Walz as he announced loosening restrictions was the growing evidence that fewer Minnesotans are social distancing, which is a major reason that the state's models are now projecting a higher death toll than previously.

Sign up for our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

He called on all Minnesotans to wear masks when they're out to protect others, but whether this is widely adopted remains to be seen. Wisconsin's bars re-opened on Wednesday evening and there have since been several images of bars filled with customers not social distancing and not wearing masks.

In Wednesday's media briefing, Walz says he doesn't "dispute the nurses who are deeply concerned," noting that "it tends to be not all hospitals are created equal, and I hear this."

He also said that if some of the indicators they look for concerning the spread of coronavirus is "how we're turning from green and yellow to orange and red, we're going to be turning down the dial."

"These are judgement decisions, complex ones, it's it's going to be dependent on how well Minnesotans are able to do this," he said.

Next Up

Malik Beasley

Timberwolves Malik Beasley suspended 12 games for offseason incident

Beasley was sentenced to 120 days in jail earlier this month.

Russell Wilson

Vikings fans should REALLY hope Russell Wilson doesn't go to the Bears

Wilson has a 6-0 record against Minnesota and could be on his way to the NFC North.


Celebrated Minnesota musician Peter Ostroushko dies

Ostroushko, who learned his craft in the Ukrainian community of Northeast Minneapolis, had a versatile career including performances with popular artists and orchestras


Costco will bump its minimum wage to $16 next week

The company, which has 12 stores in Minnesota, is pushing ahead of retailers Target and Amazon with its new minimum wage

Seth Green/Gopher Football

Gophers wildcat QB Seth Green announces decision to transfer

Green will have immediate eligibility as a graduate transfer.

Minneapolis skyline

Minneapolis pays 3 times more than it receives in state funds, new report says

This report comes as state lawmakers are debating proposals opponents say would "bail out" the state's largest city.

Kirk Cousins

Coller: Is Kirk Cousins' contract extension helping or hurting the Vikings?

Matthew Coller writes a weekly Vikings column for BMTN, with more of his work found at Purple Insider.

University of minnesota sign

U of M gets $5M donation for new center to address racial inequality in healthcare

Using a donation from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, the School of Public Health will work to address racial disparities in healthcare.


Gov. Time Walz

Gov. Walz to let Stay at Home expire, extends peacetime emergency

The peacetime emergency is being extended to June 12.

coronavirus, covid-19

Reports: Walz to let Stay at Home order expire, keep restaurant ban

The governor says Minnesota is still facing the worst of the virus.

Screen Shot 2020-04-29 at 1.04.04 PM

Gov. Tim Walz to make Stay at Home announcement Thursday

The governor is expected to extend the order, but allow more businesses to re-open.

Screen Shot 2020-04-05 at 7.09.12 PM

Reports: Walz set to extend 'Stay at Home' order to May 4

The ongoing closure of dine-in service at bars and restaurant will also continue.

coronavirus, masks, covid-19

With end of Stay at Home, Walz puts responsibility on Minnesotans

He is imploring Minnesotans to stick with social distancing guidelines.

Screen Shot 2020-04-17 at 11.25.05 AM

State lawmaker joins Stay-at-Home order protest in St. Paul

Hundreds of protesters attended, with many ignoring social distancing guidelines.

coronavirus, covid-19, stay at home

What does testing expansion mean for MN's Stay at Home order?

Social distancing will still be vital to contain the spread of the coronavirus.