What Minnesota leaders will be looking for in order to lift shutdown December 18

State leaders don't expect to see results from the orders until the third or final week of the shutdown.
Publish date:

Minnesota will be under enhanced COVID-19 restrictions for four weeks beginning at 11:59 p.m. Friday, but what will it take to have the order lifted rather than extended when it's set to expire Dec. 18?

"The positive impacts of these moves should show up in the three- and four-week timeframe," Minnesota Health Commissioner JanMalcolm said. She and other public health leaders will be looking for are: 

  • Hospital admission rates stabilizing or dropping at that point.
  • See a drop in the average cases per population.
  • See test positivity rate come down. 

"If test positivity starts stabilizing and dropping that will be a very good sign," said Malcolm. 

Minnesota kept the test positivity rate around 5% over the summer but it has basically tripled in the past month-and-a-half and as of Nov. 17 it is up to 15.4%. The World Health Organization advised in May that the percent positive remains below 5% to keep the economy fully operational. 

The reason the latest mandates from Walz, which target sports, fitness centers, bars, restaurants and social gatherings, is that it's the ideal timeframe for seeing if a tactic works, according to Malcolm. 

"Two incubation cycles, two generations of potential transmission," she said. "It's good to give a full four weeks to measure the impact of something."

She said the next few weeks are guaranteed to be dire because the cases have already been identified.

Walz also expressed a hope that by the end of the four-week period, the U.S. will be commencing its vaccination rollout after promising results from trials by Pfizer and Moderna, both of which have said they hope to have tens of millions of doses available by the end of the year.

Follow Bring Me The News on News Break

Next Up

White tail deer

DNR: Passenger shot at deer out of driver's side window

The DNR said 'all sense of safety was disregarded.'

Screen Shot 2019-07-18 at 9.10.30 AM

Mpls council proposal would cut nearly $8M from 2021 police budget

The "Safety for All Budget Plan" was introduced Friday.

Shayne Munich

Minneapolis police appeal for help finding missing man

Shayne Munich is described as a vulnerable adult.

Screen Shot 2020-11-27 at 6.26.50 PM

Minnesota nurse's story about her battle with COVID-19 goes viral

A month later, Ashley Walter is on a hard road to recovery.

Adam Thielen

Report: Still on COVID-19 list, Thielen not expected to play Sunday

Thielen was placed on the COVID-19/Reserve list on Monday.

Image from iOS (19)

Mask-wearing, distancing a common sight on MOA's Black Friday

Thousands of shoppers were out and about on Black Friday despite the COVID-19 situation.

Tim Walz

Gov. Tim Walz, MDH react to record-setting COVID-19 deaths

Minnesota can expect further bad news over the coming weeks.

covid-19, coronavirus

Record 101 COVID-19 deaths reported in Minnesota

The figures are from Wednesday, with no update provided on Thanksgiving.


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.

coronavirus, covid-19

MN health commissioner: Further restrictions 'very possible' as crisis looms

There are more than 1,500 people with COVID-19 hospitalized in Minnesota.

Tim Walz modeling

Watch live: Gov. Walz updates Minnesota's Stay at Home order

The governor is expected to extend the order but provide modifications.

coronavirus, covid-19

State leaders want ideas on best practices for reopening economy

A brief survey is available to all Minnesotans to provide feedback.

coronavirus, covid-19

Gov. Walz responds to critics of MN's 'Stay at Home' order

Minnesota's "Stay at Home" order is in place until May 4.

Governor Tim Walz

Walz issues order allowing churches to reopen at greater capacity

The decision comes after faith leaders planned to defy the state's guidance.

long term care elderly

Indoor visitor ban at long-term care facilities lifted in MN

Meanwhile, Gov. Tim Walz has extended the peacetime emergency.