Publish date:

Report: Walz could halt reopenings again if COVID-19 spikes

Statewide restrictions are due to ease up on Monday.
Governor Tim Walz

Though the state's COVID-19 restrictions are officially loosening up next week, officials are reminding Minnesotans that this is not the end of the pandemic. 

Gov. Tim Walz (D) has announced that he's easing some coronavirus measures — allowing bars and restaurants to start offering indoor service again, with some limits 

The reopenings will also affect gyms, public events, youth sports and places of worship. (You can read more about what will and won't be allowed right here.)

But on Friday, Walz told reporters it's possible they could be rescinded again if there's another surge in virus cases, per FOX 9 reporter Theo Keith:

The governor's emergency powers, under which he has implemented many of the pandemic restrictions, have been a matter of controversy among both business owners and state lawmakers.

This week, he reached out to the legislature with a pathway to "wind-down" the peacetime emergency that has given him such powers. It includes passing into law the "core provisions of the emergency response that have been keeping Minnesotans safe." 

Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-East Gull Lake, has said that removing the governor's emergency powers is among the priorities for the Senate GOP Caucus this year.

“I’m looking forward to a day where emergency powers are lifted and the governor feels like we can get there,” Gazelka said before the start of the session, according to MinnPost. “I’m hoping that it’s sooner rather than later.”

In an opinion piece published Thursday in the Pioneer Press, Gazelka wrote Walz should end his emergency powers and rescind all his executive orders "after vaccinating all priority populations in Phase 1," saying the governor "should agree the emergency is over when we are vaccinating our healthy populations ..."

The latest COVID update from the Minnesota Department of Health reported 48 deaths and more than 2,300 new cases, though the number of COVID patients in intensive care in Minnesota is the lowest its been since mid-October. 

Next Up

moose minnesota usfws - flickr

MN homeowner mistakes large tent for dead moose

They spotted two people on a security camera dragging the "moose" across a driveway.

Flickr - minneapolis police officer close-up belt camera - Tony Webster

What happens if Mpls. public safety question passes? City memo provides answers

The memo was sent to the mayor and council members Tuesday morning.

Wild

COVID-19 hits Minnesota Wild coaching staff

The Wild will be shorthanded for Tuesday night's game in Vancouver.

Anthony Edwards

Ant takes alpha role after bad loss: 'We need to lock the f*** in'

The Timberwolves' rising star was not happy after Monday's loss to the Pelicans.

parker eisinger

Lakeville football player diagnosed with cancer week before playoffs

The tenth-grader was diagnosed with a form of cancer most commonly found in people aged 65 and older.

University of Minnesota peeping tom suspect

Someone keeps trying to film showering women at U of M

The university has received three reports in the past two weeks.

john Fluevog shoes 1

John Fluevog Shoes closes its Uptown Minneapolis store

The brand could return to the Twin Cities one day.

sidecar drink

Sidecar — Town Hall's new cocktail lounge — is officially open in Minneapolis

It's the fifth Town Hall location, but the first to focus on cocktails.

Screen Shot 2019-07-18 at 9.10.30 AM

Here's where DFLers stand on Minneapolis' public safety ballot question

The question would create a Department of Public Safety and remove some requirements.

Arthur Kollie

Man pleads guilty to brutal murder of 14-year-old girl in Fargo

The 14-year-old girl was the victim of a random attack outside a Fargo strip mall.

Minneapolis Mayoral Candidates 2021 - jacob frey sheila nezhad kate knuth

Here's who has endorsed the frontrunners for Minneapolis mayor

Politicians and community groups are voicing their opinions.

Related

Buzz the polar bear.

Zoos and museums reopening as COVID restrictions loosen

Updated statewide restrictions go into effect Monday.

Screen Shot 2020-11-18 at 6.51.26 PM

Gov. Walz explains reasoning behind new COVID-19 restrictions

The new restrictions go into effect 11:59 p.m. Friday.

social distancing, coronavirus, covid-19

Walz readying 'more surgical' mitigation strategies as COVID-19 surges

It's unclear if bars and restaurants will face further restrictions.

Empty bar.

Minneapolis keeps bar seating restrictions as state eases up on rules

Patrons still won't be able to sit at bars due to COVID-19.

Screen Shot 2021-01-02 at 4.52.22 PM

Popular Bemidji coffee shop closes as owners decry COVID measures

"We plead with you to contact your representatives to make a change."

Governor Tim Walz

Gov. Walz issues plea to Minnesotans as COVID-19 cases surge

“I’ve said from the beginning, the virus’ spread will dictate our course and we are well into a dark chapter in the story of this pandemic," the governor said.

Bar beer

MDH to ramp up enforcement of bars violating COVID-19 protocols

The state received over a hundred complaints this week.