Minnesota is tightening COVID restrictions for its residents


Governor Tim Walz issued an executive order to clamp down on indoor and outdoor private gatherings; celebrations, receptions, and other events; and bars and restaurants.

Social gatherings in private homes will be limited to 10 people, indoors or out, with members being allowed from no more than three different households.

Private parties, private celebrations, and receptions for weddings, funerals, birthday parties, reunions, anniversary celebrations, and private parties hosted at venues must end by 10 p.m. and remain closed until 4 a.m. if they serve or permit consumption of food or beverages. Effective November 27, private parties will be limited to: 50 total participants, dropping to 25 on Dec 11.

Effective November 13, bars and restaurants will be capped at 150 people people both inside and out, not exceeding 50 per cent of the establishment’s capacity. All bars and restaurants must end dine-in service between 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. Bar counter service for all establishments will be closed for seating and service. If the establishment uses a “counter-service only” model for ordering food and beverages, it must create a social distance queueing model. People in bars and restaurants must remain seated; no bar games such as darts and pool. If the establishment offers pull tab, it must be offered in a queue that is marked and socially distanced.

Recreational entertainment venues (like movie theaters, bowling alleys, or similar settings), must cease food and beverage services and must not permit food and beverages to be consumed on site between the hours of 10 p.m. and 4 a.m.

The restrictions are in response to surging numbers across the state. According to CBS News, the restrictions are aimed to target those aged 20 – 34, who make up a disproportionate share of the caseload in Minnesota. Walz told CBS that 71 per cent of the state’s transmission is taking place in social settings, with infection rates doubling with interactions taking place after 9 p.m.

According to this morning’s daily report, there are currently 39,535 active cases in the state; 47 of those are in Koochiching County.