KIMT-TV 3 – Reaction is coming in to Governor Tim Walz’ decision to relax coronavirus-related restrictions in Minnesota.
House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt, (R-Crown) issued the following statement:
"Thank you to every Minnesotan who called, emailed, and wrote to Gov. Walz. The governor is finally listening to the thousands of Minnesotans who have been asking for an end to these forced closures and the devastation they have caused to families and businesses across the state. For some, this announcement comes too late, and their doors will never reopen."
"Many restaurants, salons, and other businesses have been planning for weeks to reopen — if they can do so safely, they should be allowed to do so."
Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-East Gull Lake) says he supports the lifting of the stay-at-home order on May 18:
“We’re moving in the right direction. This is really good news. I’m glad that he listened to us and I feel like we lead the way. Now it’s up to us, you and me, that we practice safe distancing. I have every confidence we’re going to be able to do it. Minnesota is back on track.”
Mary C. Turner, President of the Minnesota Nurses Association, issued this statement:
"With the lapse in the 'Stay at Home' order and the move to a less restrictive 'Stay Safe' order, the Minnesota Nurses Association urges state officials, hospital administrators, and all Minnesotans to protect healthcare workers and each other by increasing our supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), dramatically expanding capacity for COVID-19 virus testing, and continuing to social distance. Failure to protect each other will result in a dramatic spike in positive cases, overload hospitals, and cause the very caregivers we need to succumb to the virus themselves."
The Minnesota Nurses Association has reservations with the timing of lifting the state's shelter-in-place orders at a time when hospitals continue to dangerously ration PPE, new supply lines have not appeared in state warehouses, and the Minnesota Department of Health still cannot show that testing has dramatically increased."
Nurses also hope to re-open Minnesota businesses as soon as possible, but, just as many other Minnesotans have expressed, it’s not possible to do so without jeopardizing the safety of healthcare workers and all Minnesotans."
Nurses believe that the decision to turn the dial to re-open Minnesota requires every Minnesotan to turn the dial to find more PPE, more beds, and more tests while protecting healthcare workers and each other."
Here is Minnesota Retailers Association President Bruce Nustad's statement on Governor Walz's May 18 re-opening of retail establishments:
"Retailers across and in each corner of the State welcome Governor Walz’s announcement this evening that customers can return to in-store shopping May 18 under social distancing best practices."
"The safety of customers and workers in stores will be at the forefront of each transaction, and we know when stores re-open on or after May 18 they will be prepared and ready to welcome back customers."
"The Minnesota Retailers Association has been working closely with a retail roundtable workgroup representing retailers, chambers of commerce, associations, local government and other stakeholders alongside DEED leadership over the past weeks. The resulting re-open plan puts safety standards in place while allowing retailers to adopt customized protocols based on store layout, type of business and customer flow. The industry’s re-open plan and best practices are drawn from federal, state and local guidance as well as learnings from retailers that have been operating during the pandemic."
"We are grateful the Governor took this step today as this action is an important step balancing public health and economic health. We look forward to continuing to work with the Governor and his commissioners on the critical next steps for Minnesota’s retailers and consumers"
Charlie Weaver, executive director of the Minnesota Business Partnership, issued the following statement regarding Governor Walz’ announcement:
“The Governor took an important step toward reopening Minnesota tonight. We know this was not an easy decision, but the Governor’s decision to allow the stay-at-home order to expire and his plan to lift further restrictions on June 1 will help protect public health while allowing our state’s economy to begin the road to recovery.”
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison issued the following statement on Governor Tim Walz’s new executive orders:
“As a member of the Executive Council, I support Governor Walz’s new executive orders and will vote to approve them this evening. As Attorney General and Minnesota’s chief legal officer, Governor Walz is continuing to act fully within his legal and constitutional authority in issuing all these orders. My office is ready to and will defend any and all of them, as well as the Governor’s power to issue them."
“I appreciate the care and sensitivity that the Governor is bringing to gradually turning the dial on reopening Minnesota. He’s not just carelessly flipping a switch: he’s intentionally relying on epidemiology, testing, and the science of human behavior in a way that will make life easier while also protecting life. I’m especially glad to see the protections for workers and vulnerable people. I strongly support those measures. He’s also relying on Minnesotans’ strength and trust to continue to be safe and look out for one another, while also extending the peacetime emergency to be ready to act if need be."
“I know this moment has been difficult economically and socially for so many of us. While these measures will ease some of those difficulties, our responsibilities as a people for our own health and the health of everyone else are far from over. I join the Governor in strongly reiterating that if you can work from home, you must work from home — with emphasis on ‘must.’ More broadly, it is the moral duty of all of us as Minnesotans and human beings to continue to practice social distancing, to wear masks in public to ensure the safety of all workers and vulnerable Minnesotans, and to follow all the provisions of the order to keep ourselves and each other safe. That shouldn’t be hard, because Minnesotans naturally care for each other. Now more than ever, we’ll get through this together.”
The Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce put the following post on its Facebook page:
"The Rochester Area Chamber is pleased that Governor Walz has heard and responded to small business' request for fairness and equity as he moves the dial allowing them to reopen sooner rather than later. We strongly encourage small businesses to have a preparedness plan and do everything to ensure the safety and health of their employees and customers as we chart our path forward."