Walz Allows Outdoor Dining, in Minnesota, in Winter, Schools to Open
Governor Tim Walz announced Wednesday that he will allow restaurants to open for outdoor dining, during the winter in Minnesota, with a maximum of 100 people. This is not satire.
The magnanimous move was one of several changes to restrictions forced upon businesses and citizens of the state in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to WCCO, bars and restaurants can have up to 50 percent of their outdoor seating capacity occupied or a max of 100 people.
Gyms and fitness centers can open at 25 percent capacity but have to keep people 12 feet apart.
Youth sports can begin again on January 4 and schools are able to start reopening on January 18.
Indoor social gatherings, like Christmas or Chanukah, is not recommended. But during the press conference, he admitted that it wasn't terribly reasonable to expect the whole state to stay home for the holidays and recommended that if people do get together, that they keep it to two households and no more than 15 people and stay separated and wear masks.
The mild loosening of restrictions is not enough for some business owners. According to KSTP, the group ReOpen Minnesota has 150 businesses that plan to open their doors in defiance of the governor's edict. A few businesses in the Marshall area are among those, but none in the Pipestone, Luverne, or Worthington were listed.
The most telling part of the press conference was when Walz attempted to compare what is being asked of the affected Minnesota businesses and what was asked of manufacturers during World War II. During that time companies were asked to make different products during the war and were paid to do it. A brass manufacturer in Connecticut made shell cases and bullets while another went from making upholstery nails to cartridge clips for M1 Garand rifles.
"We asked Ford to quit making cars and make armaments during World War II," Walz said. Yes, that happened, and Ford was paid billions to do it. That would be like asking a Mexican restaurant to make Italian food and then the state buying it for healthcare workers. But no one asked Ford to completely cease manufacturing during WWII, or reduce the production of cars to 50 percent and only make them outside during winter in Michigan after choking them out of existence.
Walz just compared apples and gasoline.
CDC Safe Holiday Recommendations