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Walz warns Minnesota bar owners: Follow COVID-19 rules — or get shut down

Gov. Tim Walz
MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan
Gov. Tim Walz said Monday that failure to adhere to the rules set up by his administration could force him to dial back opening rules or not expand existing rules as quickly as he might have.
Gov. Tim Walz on Monday warned Minnesota bar and restaurant owners, and their customers, that he will take action, including shutting them down, if they don’t follow guidelines to stem COVID-19 infections.

Large outbreaks involving at least four bars in Minneapolis and Mankato — plus social media posts showing crowding at other establishments in the Twin Cities and across the state — has health officials concerned that efforts to educate the public about the need to wear masks and socially distance in public spaces have not been enough.

Walz, who has been criticized by some business leaders and Republican lawmakers for not opening the economy fast enough after issuing a series of stay-at-home orders, said his intent was to restart the state’s economy in a way that was sustainable. Other states that opened more quickly and more broadly than Minnesota are now dialing back those openings in the face of recent spikes in COVID-19 cases. 

Walz said Monday that failure to adhere to the rules set up by his administration could force him to dial back opening rules or not expand existing rules as quickly as he might have.

“We have gone way beyond the fight about the liberties of Shady’s Bar, and now we’re figuring out that if you gather in tight quarters you’re gonna get people sick and get COVID,” he said in reference to the court fight by a Stearns County bar and restaurant over his closure orders. “I know it’s happening. I know they’re gathering at the bar; you’ve seen the pictures where they’re doing that.”

Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm
MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan
Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm said that traditional bar settings are not yet allowed under current reopening rules.
Walz compared the situation involving COVID-19 infections to a more-familiar public health action: when food-borne illnesses occur in a restaurant. “If this were a salmonella poisoning situation, no one would be mad if we stepped in to stop it from happening,” he said. “But in this case, (some might say), you know, ‘You’re taking away our freedom to get salmonella poisoning.’”

‘We have to do better’

Last week, the head of the Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association, Tony Chesak, sent out a memo that he predicted “will not make a lot of friends” among association members for it’s frank warnings to those who don’t follow the state’s guidelines. “The old adage of one bad apple can spoil the whole basket may in fact ring true for us if we do not all do our part,” wrote Chesak. “Servers, bartenders and other staff members, YOU MUST WEAR MASKS. It is the law and having your customers wear them is mandatory in some cities in Minnesota but strongly suggested statewide. Make sure ‘social distancing’ is adhered to with both your staff and your customers (ie. table spacing; booth partitions; not gathering at the bar, etc.) Also, reservations is not just a suggestion, it too is a requirement.”

Chesak continued: “Not following these requirements may end up being the reason for our Governor to dial back,” he said. “It took 3 months of intense negotiations and sacrifice to get what we have now. We cannot allow for us to take a step backwards and jeopardize our current progress. … With hiccups like what is happening in Texas, Florida and even here in Mankato, we have to do better.”

Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm said that traditional bar settings are not yet allowed under current reopening rules. Instead, bar spaces are treated like restaurants, in which patrons must be seated at tables that are 6 feet apart. Neither space can exceed 50 percent of fire marshal capacity, no more than four people can sit at a table unless part of the same family, and then the limit is six customers.

The Kollege Klub in Dinkytown
MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan
The Kollege Klub in Dinkytown was implicated as a source of a recent outbreak of the coronavirus.
“The guidance is very clear. Bar space is to accommodate seating only, there is no standing in bars, there needs to be 6 feet of distance,” Malcolm said. “We have seen incidents of people gathering in larger groups without social distancing, without masking and that is a proven recipe for spread. And we have seen that happening in our own community and we are certainly seeing that happen in other states that are seeing these big increases now.”

Mankato now has 200 cases of coronavirus traced to two bars and “those are only where there has been a positive test, so you can only imagine how many more people are out there possibly without knowing it transmitting the virus,” she said.

Education not enough

Malcolm said that she had hoped that educating restaurant owners and patrons would be enough. It hasn’t been. The next steps could be closures of establishments in violation of the state orders — and even the revocation of liquor licenses. “We have preferred to take an educational approach first, but we’re taking it very seriously,” she said. “Seeing numbers like this, that educational approach doesn’t seem to be having all of the impact we want it to.”

Malcolm said the state is working with trade associations to get the word out. “We’ve been having conversations about how to make sure that that guidance is taken seriously, making it more clear what the consequences of failure to comply with the guidance is.”

Some have shut down voluntarily, she said, a reference to the decision by the owner of Cowboy Jack’s in downtown Minneapolis to close, something they attributed to a lack of public safety, not to the infections connected to the club. The other Minneapolis bar implicated was the Kollege Klub in Dinkytown. 

“I do believe they’re interested in not only being able to open but being able to stay open,” Malcolm said of the restaurant industry. If the rules aren’t followed and clusters related to bars continue to show up, “that will absolutely call for stronger mitigation measures.”

Comments (86)

  1. Submitted by BK Anderson on 06/30/2020 - 09:11 am.

    “she had hoped that educating [bar] owners and patrons would be enough. It hasn’t been.”

    Well, no, since so many in American society have made themselves ineducable. They have heard the information on Covid-19 (who hasn’t?), and yet choose to believe it is a “hoax” or that they get to “decide” about “their” safety, not elite gub’mint bureaucrats! Or that their youth somehow exempts them from epidemiology. That their irresponsible behavior obviously doesn’t affect only them is not part of the calculation. As I said, ineducable.

    Add in the very clear self-retardation that holds mask-wearing to be the latest rightwing political “statement” (apparently protected by the “conservative” version of the First Amendment) and you have a society that cannot successfully respond to a pandemic, which by and large, the US (under the abdicated “leadership” of Trump) has failed to do. Instead, the fine “conservative” movement tells its adherents that they have the right to be Typhoid Mary.

    [And spare us the “rioters have broken the rules and Dems say nothing!” nonsense. Apples to apples comparisons, please.]

    • Submitted by Bob Petersen on 06/30/2020 - 10:11 am.

      Spare us the rioters nonsense?? People congregating in close quarters no matter where is still comparing apples to apples. Then again, this just drives more belief that people on the Left think rules apply differently to them.

      • Submitted by Jon Kingstad on 06/30/2020 - 10:58 am.

        No, it’s apples to oranges. “Rioting” and “looting” are against the law and people who violate the law by rioting or looting need to be prosecuted and if guilty punished according to the law. Rioting and looting are not the same as peacefully protesting. Joining a peaceful protest out of doors with or without a mask is not the same the same thing as running a business selling licensed alcoholic beverages and serving food even when the same person who shows up as a customer fails to maintain 6 feet of distance between other people. People are free to do what they can to protest their own health and safety but the law properly imposes the duty of protecting public health and safety by preventing their customers from endangering one another and the public by enforcing these rules. Marking rational distinctions between things that are not the same doesn’t make anyone a “Leftist”.

      • Submitted by Mike Chrun on 06/30/2020 - 11:13 am.

        Um … outside, often moving around, not being shoulder to shoulder, and a lot more wearing masks versus being inside, jammed together, staying with the same group, no masks, and adding alcohol. You might want to review kinds of fruit if you think that’s still apples to apples.

      • Submitted by Patrick Tice on 06/30/2020 - 11:18 am.

        Enough time has now passed post-demonstrations to show that they were not significant spreading events. Bars and other indoor spaces have been implicated in serious spreading events. Drop the fake outrage and look at the facts, which indicates that “no matter where” is wrong – because indoors is vastly worse.

      • Submitted by Pat Terry on 06/30/2020 - 01:03 pm.

        Nope. That’s not true. Big difference if you are outside.

      • Submitted by George Kimball on 06/30/2020 - 01:19 pm.

        According to science and health officials, it absolutely is NOT apples to apples. There are numerous documented outbreaks of the virus that are specifically linked to bars around the country. There are zero documented outbreaks linked to any of the recent outdoor protests. Hopefully you are not among the anti-science crowd; if so, then there’s no reasoning with that group. Consider reading about this stuff. You won’t find any science or medical facts to support your argument. Here’s just one: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/health/is-it-safe-heres-how-to-weigh-your-coronavirus-risk-as-things-reopen

      • Submitted by Scot Kindschi on 06/30/2020 - 01:33 pm.

        Did you miss the part about ineducable? Now “there” is your problem.

      • Submitted by Jeffrey Brenner on 06/30/2020 - 02:01 pm.

        I agree. I wanted to go to the protests, but being in a high risk category for the virus, I stayed home. Now we hear the percentage of protestors testing positive is 2%, but people going to a bar are the problem. That crafty COVID-19 virus, it leaves you alone when you gathering for a worthy cause, but will strike you down if you just want to go out on Sat night.

      • Submitted by Brian Simon on 06/30/2020 - 02:08 pm.

        Comparing people largely wearing masks outdoors to people eating & drinking maskless indoors does not seem to be an apples to apples comparison. Put another way, the reporting I have seen has not labeled any MN protests as “super spreader” events. But several bars listed above were exactly that.

      • Submitted by Verne Dusenbery on 06/30/2020 - 04:10 pm.

        Outdoors vs indoors.

      • Submitted by Frank Phelan on 06/30/2020 - 05:13 pm.

        Bob, please cite some evidence that indicates the recent protests have resulted in the spread of Covid.

        I’m serious. I thought the protests would result in more cases, but I haven’t seen any.

      • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 07/01/2020 - 03:29 pm.

        Apparently they do.
        Protests didn’t lead to mass outbreaks of Covid, but opening bars certainly did.

    • Submitted by Tarrance Sullivan on 07/02/2020 - 04:53 pm.

      I find your use of “retardation” highly offensive. Can you not cogently express an argument without resorting to such extremely demeaning terminology that has been very hurtful to people with developmental disabilities?

  2. Submitted by cory johnson on 06/30/2020 - 09:52 am.

    By statistics these young people vote overwhelming Democrat.

    • Submitted by Joel Stegner on 06/30/2020 - 10:19 am.

      Which young people chose to go to bars? Do not assume anything about the party affiliation of young people in bars without data. Also, do not assume that young people all have a party affiliation, and more than they all go to a church. As a generation, they are not joiners. Extroverts and risk takers seek out bars, to meet old friends and new people. Add alcohol and the rules go out the window.

    • Submitted by Pat Terry on 06/30/2020 - 01:04 pm.

      Given that mask usage and understanding of science is much higher among Democrats, you are almost certainly wrong.

    • Submitted by Paul John Martin on 07/01/2020 - 09:22 am.

      COVID doesn’t care how you vote, but it does respond to stupid and self-centered.

    • Submitted by Doug Duwenhoegger on 07/01/2020 - 12:40 pm.

      Actually young people just fail to vote at all.

    • Submitted by Frank Phelan on 07/01/2020 - 04:10 pm.

      “Democrat”?

      Otherwise they would be “Republicanic”?

      Does this mean the MinnPost mods are again allowing this pejorative term? Democrats do not call themselves this, and would prefer that the term not be used to describe themselves.

      Let’s keep MinnPost civil the election season, please?

  3. Submitted by Bill Kelly on 06/30/2020 - 10:22 am.

    Thank you Governor Walz, Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm and all
    who work with you for TRUTH.
    One fundamental that every person should understand is that every day
    and night First Responders, nurses, aides, all support staff, doctors are
    confronting the virus etc. directly. When these thousands of care givers
    are trying to live with family, friends and more they should not be exposed
    to people not wearing masks or distancing who could be spreading the virus
    showing they care only for themselves. PLEASE CARE FOR OTHERS !!!

  4. Submitted by Jim Smola on 06/30/2020 - 10:42 am.

    All businesses should have signs posted that say, “No shirt, no shoes, no masks, no service.”

    • Submitted by Robert Ahles on 06/30/2020 - 03:25 pm.

      Yes!!!!!

    • Submitted by Ray Olson on 06/30/2020 - 06:23 pm.

      Does everybody remember what guidelines mean? These aren’t requirements. Those in the government who shut down these private businesses are in direct violation of the 1st amendment. Those who violate the 1st amendment, should be forced to resigned. Enough is enough. Give Minnesota their freedom back before we are forced to take it back.

      • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 07/01/2020 - 10:56 am.

        “Forced to take it back?” Are you threatening an armed uprising over the “right” to buy a Bud Light and a cheeseburger?

      • Submitted by ian wade on 07/01/2020 - 01:54 pm.

        “Forced to take it back?”
        Settle down…

      • Submitted by Frank Phelan on 07/01/2020 - 04:12 pm.

        If a restaurant is shut down to to a rat infestation, does that violate my constitutional right to get sick?

        Ya know, I’m pretty sure I’ve got a right to drive unsafe cars. It must be in the constitution somewhere.

      • Submitted by Pat Terry on 07/02/2020 - 12:10 am.

        People occasionally post some terrible legal analysis in comments here, but that might be the worst one yet.

    • Submitted by Betsy Larey on 06/30/2020 - 08:35 pm.

      Not sure how you think you can eat and drink in a mask. You can’t

      • Submitted by James Rickton on 06/30/2020 - 11:07 pm.

        No, it’s not really possible to eat or drink in a mask. You can eat and drink at home, however. It’s cheaper and if you’re a half decent cook, the food is better too. I’ve spent a lot of time in bars, some of it due to all of the work travel I’ve done. I like bars, but it’s really not worth it to risk getting sick or getting others sick for the privilege of paying $7 plus $2 tip for a beer I can drink at home for $1.50.

  5. Submitted by Patrick Tice on 06/30/2020 - 11:32 am.

    Controlling social distancing and curtailing risky behavior are pretty difficult in a bar setting because alcohol and youth do not make for thoughtful compliance to safety rules. It may be necessary to simply face that fact and rethink how this is going to work over the next year or more. The virus is going to be with us for a long time, and short-term thinking is not helping.

  6. Submitted by JUDITH MONSON on 06/30/2020 - 01:18 pm.

    Washing your hands. Social distancing. Wearing a mask. Let’s all play the “long game.” Acknowledging the lethality of COVID-19 is about more than one person: more than ME! ME! ME! As Dr. Fauci said recently, this is not about any one individual’s adolescent moment of “having fun.” This is about the lifetime of every adult’s “social contract”: that we care not just about ourselves, but about others. He posed a challenge to young risk-takers, to those seemingly infallible (congregate bar-goers, beach-goers, large-party-goers): do you want to be part of the problem, or part of the solution? “Do no harm” is every physician’s sworn ethic in treating others. It should be ours as well.

  7. Submitted by Elsa Mack on 06/30/2020 - 01:52 pm.

    At this point, it strikes me as foolhardy to have bars open. They are places for meeting people and socializing, often talking loudly in close quarters, and where people are very likely to lower their inhibitions—it’s what alcohol does. That goes double if we’re talking about college students, who tend to drink to excess and may think that because they’re young, getting sick isn’t that dangerous for them personally.

    I do think it is possible for restaurants to operate responsibly, if both staff and customers are following guidelines—restaurants do not have to be loud, there is little mixing between groups, it’s not a given that people will be drunk. I hope that there will be a distinction made between bars and restaurants if Walz et al. consider dialing back again.

  8. Submitted by Scott Walters on 06/30/2020 - 02:10 pm.

    Perhaps a county by county shutdown. As soon as cases per thousand hit a threshold, all bars and restaurants are closed in that county. All bars and restaurants would be required to check IDs, and anybody from a quarantined county would be refused admission and service. Seems fairer than a state-wide shutdown. If that’s impractical, I’d be closing them all down, now. Bars and restaurants just aren’t important enough to blow up the entire state economy and health care system over. Sorry, we got through three months without them, we can get through another three.

  9. Submitted by Ron Gotzman on 06/30/2020 - 02:21 pm.

    Thank you “unilateral Tim” for your rules imposed on our democracy.

    • Submitted by BK Anderson on 07/01/2020 - 07:30 am.

      What kind of governmental “rules imposed on our democracy” would you accept for, say, the Black Death of 1348? Is your objection that Covid-19 isn’t dangerous enough to curtail one’s “liberty” to be Typhoid Mary? Is the Constitution a suicide pact?

      I suspect what bugs “conservatives” is that it is a Dem guv who is issuing the executive orders (pursuant to statutory emergency powers which have been on the books for decades, passed by the MN legislature). That’s unendurable!

      • Submitted by Ron Gotzman on 07/01/2020 - 08:18 am.

        I am glad you are so compliant and trust so much in the “settle science” of unilateral Tim.

        • Submitted by Matt Haas on 07/01/2020 - 10:26 am.

          Whose “settled science” would you have us trust? Yours? The clown company in Washington? Please, do enlighten us as to the identity of this vast array of conservative scholarly discipline who manage to pursue science while believing the pursuit itself is fraudulent. The problem with positioning oneself as anti-intellectual is that it makes it rather difficult to convince anyone else that one should be taken as an authority on intellectual topics.

        • Submitted by Marc Post on 07/01/2020 - 10:55 am.

          I fully support Gov Walz and the science based policy. It’s much better than the obvious failures of Typhoid Trump and his executive orders.

        • Submitted by ian wade on 07/01/2020 - 01:56 pm.

          Uhhh, aren’t you a pastor, Mr. Gotzman? And you’re talking about compliance and trust?

  10. Submitted by Daniel McCall on 06/30/2020 - 04:11 pm.

    I’d like to drag the governor out by his chubby ankles and issue him a sternly written letter.

    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 07/01/2020 - 03:34 pm.

      He’s an ex-sergeant and football coach. You might find it interesting.

    • Submitted by Pat Terry on 07/02/2020 - 12:20 am.

      I’d like to thank Tim Walz for his smart leadership. Wish I could say the same for the president, but the man who was a complete failure as a businessman is doing his best to sink the American economy.

  11. Submitted by Frank Phelan on 06/30/2020 - 05:25 pm.

    I’ve been amused to still see the comments around the interwebs blaming “Walz the business & job killer.

    From what I’ve seen, most restaurants would love to get to 50% capacity. Even the supporters of Don Trump, who may still be “inspecting” his bunker, don’t want to be in large crowds, as evidenced by the sea of blue seats at his rally in OK. If the Twins had the home opener tomorrow, they wouldn’t sell 10K tickets.

    There haven’t been any bans on flying or staying at hotels, people just want to stay safe. It seems the only formal restrictions required are on bars that cater to the under 30 crowd.

    I’ve worked at pro sporting events for several years. The NHL limits fans to two beers per person per sale. Sometimes I’ve had a guy, over 50, who wants 4 beers, one each for him & his 3 buddies. They’re always aghast they need to make 2 trips. My response to them is that the limit of 2 should only apply to men under 30, the ones who cause 99% of the alcohol related problems at such events.

  12. Submitted by James Rickton on 06/30/2020 - 11:15 pm.

    What amazes me is that in WWII, people were sent off to die, food was rationed, materials were rationed, curtains were black out and women went to work in physically demanding factory jobs amongst other sacrifices. Fast forward 80 years and American’s can’t wear a basic mask (not even an N95 mask which I wear when ripping boards on a table saw or mixing thinset,) because it’s too hard. Funny that Republicans who always talk about the Dem snowflakes are the ones who can’t physically and emotionally deal with the simple act of wearing a mask.

    If Japan attacked Pearl Harbor today I think the US would last about 3 days before rolling over, if, that is, Trump didn’t just give it away because Hirohito sent him a love letter.

  13. Submitted by Matt Schramm on 07/01/2020 - 05:45 am.

    Does anyone remember chicken pox parties ?

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 07/01/2020 - 10:28 am.

      It’s been awhile, so you will need to refresh my memory. How many people die from chicken pox? Is it treated by a lengthy hospital stay in isolation? Can it cause permanent neurological damage?

    • Submitted by Tim McCarthy on 07/01/2020 - 12:20 pm.

      It’s all fun and chickenpox parties until someone gets shingles, then they are angry at what morons their parents were.

  14. Submitted by Bob Kraemer on 07/01/2020 - 05:58 am.

    Reading all these comments just re-enforces the original statement that there are some people you cannot educate or reason with. They are selfish, self centered spoiled child-adults who act like petulant 6 year -olds stomping their feet and screaming to go play outside! It doesn’t matter what FACTS or Information you present to them they just ignore it. This is why we LEAD the World in Cases and Deaths! We account for only 4% of the Population but we now have 25% of the Deaths and Case numbers! It SHOULD be obvious to any thinking person that what we have been doing isn’t working! But what people seem to forget in this discussion is you go to a Bar or a Restaurant to EAT and DRINK, and how do you do that with a MASK on??? You CAN’T which is WHY they all should be CLOSED until we are over this Pandemic!!

    • Submitted by eric schmid on 07/01/2020 - 05:06 pm.

      4 bars out of 10,000+ bars and restaurants in the entire state, so your answer is to close them all down. If 4 daycare facilities have outbreaks in Sept, do you suggest that every single day care in the state close? If you neighborhood grocery store has an outbreak, should every single grocery store be closed until Gov. Walz feels they are safe? If one plumber spreads Covid to 200 homes, should all plumbers be put out of business?

      When about 100 elder care facilities had outbreaks that lead to 1100 dead from Covid, were your advocating the Walz close down all elder care facilities?

    • Submitted by Bob Barnes on 07/02/2020 - 07:36 pm.

      Actually, many of us out there do the research and know what we’re talking about. We can back it up with facts as well. Such as this tidbit from May 2020 on the CDC website: “Although mechanistic studies support the potential effect of hand hygiene or face masks, evidence from 14 randomized controlled trials of these measures did not support a substantial effect on transmission of laboratory-confirmed influenza. ”

      Tell us, has the FDA ever approved a mask for use in stopping/preventing a virus? Nope. We’ve studied masks for over 100 years and have hundreds of studies and clinical trials and yet none of them show any effectiveness of masks in stopping or preventing a virus. I can post quite a few more randomized clinical trials showing zero difference between wearing a mask and not wearing one.

      • Submitted by Matt Haas on 07/03/2020 - 10:18 am.

        Actually, many of us out there do the research and know what we’re talking about.

        You wanna save us some time and let us know when one arrives? Or are you gonna keep claiming that the incidence of viral transmission in a hospital setting is NOT 100% by some force of magic. N 95 masks exist, you’re aware of that, right?

  15. Submitted by Curtis Senker on 07/01/2020 - 08:10 am.

    Well, Walz has one less businessman to threaten. Keegan’s pub in N.E. has closed after 18 years, as has the attached Red’s Savoy pizza.

  16. Submitted by Eric House on 07/01/2020 - 09:07 am.

    What i don’t quite understand is the envisioned endgame for those who are advocating opening up. All the evidence I’ve seen so far is that Covid is spread via airborne transmission, and most effectively in scenarios where people spend time together are in relatively crowded indoor spaces, like bars and restaurants.

    So we open bars in the name of ‘freedom’ and then what? How does that work?

    • Submitted by Matt Haas on 07/01/2020 - 10:31 am.

      Best not to think too hard about it. Despite all evidence to the contrary, there are those who simply will not believe that the pandemic is anything but a hoax, or that even if its not, that they won’t be affected, because the people that die deserve it, unlike themselves. Its programming, they’re a cult, like any other.

      • Submitted by Jeffrey Brenner on 07/01/2020 - 02:41 pm.

        So, we just close everything down until there is a vaccine?
        What if one is never developed, then we will have to figure out a way to live with the virus.
        In some ways I think this is a tempest in a tea pot. New cases are holding steady and the number of people in the ICU is at it’s lowest point since May 1.
        If anything these outbreaks should show the importance of testing and contact tracing. I hope someone is trying to contact some of the people who were in those bars.

        • Submitted by Matt Haas on 07/01/2020 - 05:26 pm.

          See Florida, Arizona, Texas, South Carolina, Nevada et al.
          Could someone, anyone, please explain why “living with the virus” MUST mean accepting the deaths of hundreds of thousands (which it does) INSTEAD of adapting the economy to the new reality, and NEVER going back to the way things were before? Understanding that this will cause economic calamity for some, that can be mitigated by societal support, and survived. Why is it so essential that everything remain exactly as it was, is change truly that terrifying?

          • Submitted by Jeffrey Brenner on 07/02/2020 - 09:30 am.

            So, no more bars or restaurants, that if part of the old world BC (before Corona). No theater, concerts, we should all stay home in fear and do those things on Zoom.
            If this is the future I have to look forward to, I am going to purposefully get infected with COVID and die. Sounds pretty dystopian to me.

            • Submitted by Edward Blaise on 07/02/2020 - 10:19 pm.

              Maybe consider a move to New Zealand (once they will have you) where the most draconian initial lock down now has moved to full sports stadiums and life getting close to normal.

              This could be way behind us with leadership even close to what other countries have.

              Donald J. Trump
              @realDonaldTrump
              ·
              Nov 8, 2013
              Leadership: Whatever happens, you’re responsible. If it doesn’t happen, you’re responsible.

        • Submitted by Pat Terry on 07/02/2020 - 12:17 am.

          A lot of countries have this under control or are close to doing so because they have taken precautions. Minnesota’s relative success is due to the leadership of Governor Walz. Unfortunately we have an idiot president and a lot of idiot governors, and so cases in this country are surging.

    • Submitted by eric schmid on 07/01/2020 - 05:05 pm.

      4 bars out of 10,000+ bars and restaurants in the entire state, so your answer is to close them all down. If 4 daycare facilities have outbreaks in Sept, do you suggest that every single day care in the state close? If you neighborhood grocery store has an outbreak, should every single grocery store be closed until Gov. Walz feels they are safe? If one plumber spreads Covid to 200 homes, should all plumbers be put out of business?

      When about 100 elder care facilities had outbreaks that lead to 1100 dead from Covid, were your advocating the Walz close down all elder care facilities?

  17. Submitted by eric schmid on 07/01/2020 - 04:59 pm.

    I know that the readers of MinnPost lean DFL, but if you cannot see that the threat by Gov Walz to close an entire class of businesses for an entire state over 4 hot spots that caused 200 Covid cases, 0 hospitalizations and 0 deaths (all while the # of people in the ICU and hospitals have been on a steady decline for the last 3 weeks for this state) is not a complete over reaction, then you are beyond help.

    Did Walz close all of the elder care facilities when 2000+ of some facilities residents were hospitalized and 1100+ died? Did he close every meat processing facility in MN after each of the handful of locations had hundreds of their employees test positive? The answer is no, he did not close the entire industry.

    The answer is to close the 4 offender for 10-14 days while they clean up their mess and have the recertify through the Dept of Health if they want to reopen. And leave the other 10,000+ bars and restaurants alone since they are following the distancing rules and not putting people at any more danger than if they were going to Home Depot or the grocery store.

    Some days I feel like the people of this state have lost their GD minds.

  18. Submitted by Edward Blaise on 07/01/2020 - 08:24 pm.

    What country had the swiftest and most aggressive COVID19 response?

    Answer: New Zealand

    What country now has reopened to the greatest extent of all?

    Answer: New Zealand

    Now, I can agree that an isolated island has some intrinsic advantages in battling the virus. But, the really interesting point is that New Zealand has a long tenured infectious disease specialist who campaigned for the drastic initial reaction. The government reaction was not a unanimous “let’s do it”. Many had extreme reservations about such an action.

    In the end, the fact that the infectious disease specialist had a long and successful record, going back to AIDS was enough to make government leaders to go with the best science from their best person.

    And what did our government do with our infectious disease specialist with a long and successful record, going back to AIDS?

    Fauci, go lay by your dish. The cure can’t be worse than the disease.

    How’s that looking right now? We could be months ahead of where we are right now with competent leadership like found in New Zealand.

    • Submitted by Edward Blaise on 07/02/2020 - 10:21 am.

      And:

      “To guard against a second wave in New Zealand, Baker thinks masks should be worn on public transport, aircraft and at border control and quarantine facilities. For him, one positive thing to come out of the pandemic is that it has shown how proactive government measures can protect the public from avoidable hazards. Baker hopes this will inspire more ambitious action on climate change and biodiversity loss.

      “People are saying, ‘I can’t wait to get back to business as usual’, but there are a whole lot of things that we must do better,” he says. “I hope that is the lesson we learn from this terrible event.”

      https://www.newscientist.com/article/2246858-why-new-zealand-decided-to-go-for-full-elimination-of-the-coronavirus/#ixzz6R3EkqXxO

  19. Submitted by Susan Maricle on 07/03/2020 - 11:48 am.

    I see two reasons for Gov. Walz’s decision: one moral and one pragmatic.
    The moral reason: the social contract we humans have to keep each other safe by not spreading disease.
    The pragmatic reason: If COVID treatment wipes out your assets, the state becomes ultimately responsible for your care through Medicaid.

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