by Heidi L. Everett
Gov. Tim Walz today announced the latest requirements for slowing the spread of COVID-19 and allowing some sense of normalcy to return to daily lives.
A statement today from the Governor’s Office noted, “Quality time with loved ones and regular exercise are critical to the mental and emotional well-being of families across the state.”
To that end, the following modifications were announced regarding social gatherings, gyms and fitness studios, sports and more:
- Social Gatherings: Indoor gatherings are not recommended, but Minnesotans may gather inside with one other household up to 10 people. If outside, social gatherings may include up to two additional households with a maximum of 15 people, starting December 19. Masking and social distancing is strongly encouraged.
- Gyms and fitness studios: May open for individual exercise at 25 percent capacity, or 100 people maximum, with masks and 12 feet of physical distancing between individuals. Additional guidance about group classes, which can begin January 4, will be forthcoming.
- Youth and adult sports:Practices can resume January 4. Additionally, organized sports activity is no longer directly tied to county case data or school learning model.
- Outdoor entertainment venues: Open at 25 percent capacity, up to 100 people at a time. If food and drink are served, all must be seated.
Bars, restaurants and breweries will remain closed for indoor dining but may open for outdoor service at 50 percent capacity or up to 100 people. In his announcement, the Governor acknowledged this action is not a solution for the industry as a whole, but some establishments have put significant work into making outdoor service possible and this may prove helpful to some.
On Jan. 18, 2021, every elementary school across the state may choose to operate in person as long as they are able to implement additional mitigation strategies, which include providing and requiring staff to wear a face shield and mask and offering regular testing.