Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Coming to a head

I was encouraged by Gov. Tim Walz's announcement last week that he was allowing Minnesota's stay-at-home order to expire this past Monday. I definitely believed it was a positive first step.

Unfortunately, Walz  was borderline incoherent on Wednesday when announcing his plan for re-opening businesses, churches, etc.

Bars and restaurants in Minnesota can open June 1 for outdoor service under a revised COVID-19 response strategy announced by Gov. Tim Walz on Wednesday that also allows for limited reopening of hair salons and campgrounds.

While COVID-19 remains a growing concern — causing 777 deaths and 17,670 lab-confirmed infections so far in Minnesota — Walz said beloved summertime activities can take place amid the pandemic with precautions.

“While the virus won’t yet allow for business as usual, let’s do what we do best after winter in Minnesota and head outside. Whether it’s a Jucy Lucy, a plate of tamales, or a walleye dinner, Minnesotans can support their local restaurant by enjoying a socially distanced meal outdoors,” Walz said.

Outdoor patios and serving areas will be limited to 50 patrons at a time who are encouraged to wear masks and must make reservations — which among other things will make it easier for state investigators to identify their close contacts if they end up infected later on. Employees must wear masks.

Similarly, salons will only be allowed to operate at 25% capacity, and stylists and customers will need to don masks.

And what about churches?

The pastor of the church my wife and I attend didn't take this very well.

On Wednesday evening, the Minnesota Catholic Conference and the Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod (LCMS) indicated they would not be complying with the Governor's order. No word if AG Keith Ellison will attempt to fine church officials. That'd be a good look, eh?

In the end, it's good to be a public sector employee during this pandemic.


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