Today is a big day for the subjects of King Tim. Our governor has graciously relaxed the strictures of royal decree 101 of 2020 in his first royal decree of the new year, effective at 11:59 p.m. last night. These are the highlights:
• Indoor dining at bars and restaurants can open at 50% capacity, with a maximum of 150 people. Parties of no more than six people must remain 6 feet from other parties; bar seating is open to parties of two; reservations are required; and establishments must close dine-in service by 10 p.m.
• Gym capacity remains capped at 25% but maximum capacity increases to 150 and classes can increase to 25 people, assuming distancing can be observed. Machines and people must maintain 9 feet of distance. Face coverings are required.
• Outdoor events and entertainment continue at 25% capacity, but maximum capacity increases to 250 people. Social distancing is required.
• Indoor events and entertainment like bowling alleys, movie theaters, and museums may open at 25%, with no more than 150 people in each area of the venue. Face coverings are required, and they may not offer food service after 10 p.m.
• Youth and adult organized sports have resumed practice as of Jan. 4 and games resume Jan. 14 with spectators, following the appropriate capacity limits for indoor or outdoor venues. Inter-region tournaments and out of state play are discouraged.
• Pools opened on Jan. 4 for some activity and may now open at 25% capacity.
Wedding receptions and other private parties may resume with limits. If food and drink are served at the event, then they are limited to two households or 10 people indoors and three households or 15 people outdoors. If there is no food or drink, they are covered by event venue guidelines. Any related ceremony – like a wedding or funeral ceremony – is guided by rules for ceremonies and places of worship.
• Places of worship remain open at 50% capacity but without an overall maximum capacity.
Walz announced the terms of his new edict at a press conference with Power Point slides this past Wednesday while the invasion of the Capitol was underway (video below). He purports to be “safely adjusting the dials” — the dials of our lives. He cut the briefing short by taking no questions. Kevin Roche commented on his presentation here. Kevin observes that Walz “didn’t even take questions today, which doesn’t really matter because no one is going to challenge the lies.” That is a generalization that applies with few exceptions to the press briefings conducted by Walz and the Minnesota Department of Health.
The Minnesota Department of Health followed up with a press briefing on Thursday (audio at bottom). The focus of the media is on vaccination priorities and their desire for the authorities to incorporate the priorities of political correctness into the plan of distribution. You can be sure that the powers that be at MDH are entirely on board.
Kevin commented on MDH’s answer to my third question submitted on December 28 (about PCR testing) in this post. I quoted MDH’s unresponsive answers to my first two questions in part 147. Kevin compares per capita COVID-19 death rates in Minnesota, Sweden, and Florida here.