May 20, 2020
Tim Walz Minnesota COVID-19 Briefing Transcript May 20: Reopening of Bars, Restaurants
Governor Tim Walz of Minnesota held a coronavirus briefing on May 20. Walz announced plans for phased reopening of bars, restaurants and places of ‘public accommodation.’ Read the full speech transcript here.
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Governor Tim Walz: (10:37)
Good afternoon everyone, good afternoon Minnesota. To the press and to everyone thank you for your flexibility. We had a lot of calls and we’re finalizing some things so we’re a little bit later. To those of you listening I hope that you’re outside, I think today is that day that many of us wait for after a winter, late spring with a touch of a summer on it. And it seems almost unimaginable to many of us that in the past three months, by the end of this month, a hundred thousand of our fellow Americans will have died to COVID-19 a novel Corona virus that we just started hearing about in December. And that by the end of the month a thousand Minnesotans will have died. So the contrast could not be greater. We’re here today to talk about what do we do moving forward?
Governor Tim Walz: (11:29)
How do we make sure and it’s so maddening I know that there’s so many things about this virus that are unpredictable, but there are certain things that are predictable. I stood in front of you a week ago when we crossed 500 and I told you that probably on the 28th or the 29th of the month we would cross 1000. There’s just some predictability on infection rates and epidemiologist talk to us about. But the one thing is that we can control is how we act, what we do. And in the last three months our whole purpose was is to make sure that those who will get sick and they will get sick because we have no therapeutics and no vaccine that when they do get sick, they have the capacity to be able to go to the hospital and we have all of the things that they need. And that we’re trying to protect those most vulnerable.
Governor Tim Walz: (12:13)
So I just want to acknowledge that on a beautiful day where our students should be thinking about wrapping up the year, where baseball’s should be being hit in the back yard and folks should be gathering together this year is unlike any we’ve ever seen and those challenges are immense. I’d also like to say that we spend a lot of time thinking about how do we find a new normal, how do we make sure as we’ve talked many times the health, safety, economic and mental and physical wellbeing of Minnesotans is our top priority. Working with healthcare experts, working with the economists, working with businesses. And these things are hard. I wish I could tell you that there was a perfect answer. I wish I could tell you that the ones we have are absolutely right, but we’ve seen there’s not a playbook.
Governor Tim Walz: (12:57)
I guess CDC put out a reopening guide today but what we’ve seen is, is when the first one came out, there’s really no states meeting those and then we’re told not to. There’s been a lot of ships and starts here in Minnesota. We took seriously that states were going to be responsible for this. We needed to stand up and figure out our own testing plan. I was on the phone today with a CEO of a company called Hologic, which I had never heard of before this, but I know very well now, like Thermo Fisher and others Roche. And trying to figure out what happened to our seven Hologic Panthers, which are high throughput testing kits that are part of our strategy. Those are the types of things that are happening every day to try and make sure that we can do those things we told Minnesotans about. So I’m here today to talk about how we move forward with our stay safe Minnesota plan.
Governor Tim Walz: (13:47)
As of Monday, we lifted the stay at home order. And from the very beginning on clear back in the middle of March, when we talked about the state of emergency to the end of March, when we did our first day at home order, it’s very clear to me that we are not going to be able to shelter in place the entire time of this pandemic. That we were going to have to figure out ways that we could live with it. And I think the two analogies that I really like we’re not trying to prevent this pandemic. We’re trying to prevent the infections from the most vulnerable, but it’s like that boiling pot that we know it’s going to boil. If we wanted to turn down the heat and keep everybody in their house so that it wasn’t even simmering, that comes at a heck of a cost.
Governor Tim Walz: (14:25)
It comes at an economic cost, it comes at a cost to those elective surgeries and all those things. If you let it go on its own, it will boil over and it will overwhelm the healthcare system. Somewhere in there, there is a line where the pot just gets to simmer right before it boils. And what that allows you to do as many of the economic things that you can do in a normal life without crossing that line. And today, we’re here to talk about some of those things we’re going to do. And I want to just acknowledge to try and give as much consistency and predictability as we can in a very unpredictable environment to those small business owners. But I want to make clear on this, these health guidelines are not an impediment to opening our economy, they’re the key to opening the economy.
Governor Tim Walz: (15:11)
As we’ve seen in states that have opened up reservations for restaurants in Georgia are only 15% of what they were before. Consumers are going to make the choice. Consumers are going to go back where it’s safe and for each and every one of us, it’s our choice on how we act that is going to impact other’s health and how we get through this. So on June 4th, we’re going to enter face two of our stay safe plan. It’s going to allow outdoor dining at restaurants and bars, and a measured reopening of salons, barber shops with limited capacity. June 1st, I’m sorry. Thank you for that I misspoke. We’re going to have Steve and commissioner Malcolm give a little bit more on that on June 1st. Restaurants and bars, I just want to speak to all of those folks. They are integral not just to our economy and we know now how many jobs they create.
Governor Tim Walz: (15:58)
They’re integral to the parts of us that makes living in Minnesota so great. They’re the places where we had first dates, they are the places where we celebrate our anniversaries. They’re the places where we gathered together on special moments and they make life just a little bit better. And so that industry has been hurting amongst all others, commissioner Grove will talk to you about that. There are fixtures for us, the virus won’t allow business as usual, but I think it’s going to do our best after Minnesota winter to get out and be able to enjoy these things. Steve will talk about some of the specifics around that. So it’s the local brewery or Juicy Lucy or Walleye dinner Minnesotans are going to be able to get back out there try and make, I’m sure we’re supporting these local businesses. And while it’s not perfect, it’s safe and it’s moving the dial.
Governor Tim Walz: (16:40)
I also want to thank the salons and barbershops. I know Minnesotans and I have to be candid, it’s certainly not a top priority for me because I’m a bit challenged in this area, but this is a big area. These are a lot of small business owners. They’re very successful. And once again, it’s a part of what make being human in life just a little bit better. People enjoy doing this. It’s something that needs to be done and these are a lot of entrepreneurs who knew that they had to do the right thing and were not able to do their trade. So what we’re going to do is we’re going to do cautiously turn that dial back to normal. You’ll need to make a reservation, wear a mask, wash your hands. Certainly don’t go in there if you’re sick, we are encouraging people to at these barbershops take temperatures of people if you have that capacity, but certainly there will be protocols in place for social distancing capacity in them. Situation’s fluid, we’re still learning more and more every day. I said we’re prepared to turn the dial back. Once again Jane will talk to you about this. If we hit those hospital capacity numbers, we saw a big spike yesterday, today they’re way down again. We saw a spike in ICUs, those have rolled back down again. So it is not one or two days it takes a longer pattern. We still do not know yet the effects of what we did on Monday of retails. We will not see that probably till about June 1st. And there’s a reason in our timing on this, because the epidemiologists and the health experts say it takes us about two weeks to 21 days to be able to see the effects of what we did on how it’s changing that. So at this point in time to say that the spikes that showed up yesterday because we opened on Monday, that’s not true.
Governor Tim Walz: (18:15)
If we see two weeks down the road that things have changed dramatically, we might be able to make that judgment. So I’ll tell you what, we keep looking at with all the data that’s out there are just a few things when people say, why this over this? And I want to acknowledge again, this is not a perfect science. It takes a lot of data, it takes a lot of balancing one against another, but there are exceptions to every one. And I’ll be the first to acknowledge that that becomes very, very difficult. But the way we think about these things is that what impacts transmission is how close you are to another person, how long you’re around that other person and how predictable the setting is that you’re around that other person. And so if we know you’re standing here, the other person is standing six feet or more apart, you’re going to be there for less than a minute. And that, that is the way that transaction happens every time that’s very predictable.
Governor Tim Walz: (19:12)
And those were many of the things that came open in the first place. When you have people moving around, doing different things, you don’t know who’s there, you don’t know who’s coming. You’ve sat for a long period of time, those things become much more unpredictable and the transmission rates go up pretty exponentially. So I have to once again reiterate, the safety and security of Minnesotans is a top priority of any governor who served. That is certainly true now, that extends to thinking about how do we find that new normal and restart Minnesota’s economy. Or I should say grow it from where it is because many folks are back out there. And how do we do it in a manner we’re able to measure very clearly how much that pot is simmering and how close it is to getting to boiling.
Governor Tim Walz: (19:56)
Because the problem that you have is if you miss that line, it becomes very, very difficult. And so I want to let our two commissioners who were instrumental in helping put this together for the June 1st stay safe Minnesota. But understanding you’ve got two other commissioners in here today, you have literally thousands of people interacting. I want to give a thank you to the trade organizations Bruce and Liz who were up here from hospitality Minnesota, from the retailers. Those folks have worked with us and told us what our businesses can do. And then I just have to speak directly to Minnesotans. Again, I can’t stress enough how empathizing with you, how maddening this is. How frustrating it is we can’t do the things we’re going to do and how challenging it is to be asked in society to have to curtail back some of the things that we want to do. But in a time of great uncertainty, how we conduct ourselves is the one thing we control. And how we conduct ourselves in terms of social distancing, masking, washing our hands, being smart, going to the hospital, getting tested.
Governor Tim Walz: (21:03)
… masking, washing our hands, being smart, going to the hospital, getting tested, that has the biggest impact on the spread of this virus of anything that science can do or anything else that’s being done. So I understand the frustrations. I understand the desire. The science is too strong. We can’t pretend like this isn’t a big deal. We can’t pretend with a 100,000 dead Americans that this is just going to go away. We can’t pretend that all of the trends of the modeling are holding pretty steady and pretty true that we are still quite a ways off from our peak.
Governor Tim Walz: (21:34)
And while the rest of the country, and if you’re watching the news, may look like they’re opening back up their beaches, they’re opening back more things. They have come through this. And I will have to tell you about New York. They have gone through days of 500 people dying. They have 25,000 dead New Yorkers in the last three months because of COVID-19. That’s a heck of a price to get on the other side of this. Our peak is still coming. The difference between what New York had to go through and what we’re going through is, we are better prepared to hit it head on, but it doesn’t mean it’s going away. It doesn’t mean it’s going to magically disappear. We are hopeful that warmer weather slows it. We are hopeful that some of those things will happen. So Steve and Jan are going to take you through this. I know there’s a million questions. I hope they’re able to answer from youth sports to all of those things. I’ll make sure that the experts who helped craft this get that done and then I’ll be back for some questions. So Commissioner Malcolm, if you would.
Commissioner Malcolm: (22:34)
Thank you, Governor. Good afternoon, everyone. Well, as the governor said, and he just did a wonderful job of explaining the uncertain situation we find ourselves in with respect to where we are in the spread of this virus and where it may be going next in our state. As you know, around the world, we are getting very close to 5 million total cases of COVID-19 and 323,000 deaths around the world. In our own country we are now at 1.5 million cases and nearly 92,000 deaths. So that forecast of a 100,000 by early this summer, unfortunately, seems all too real. Here in Minnesota, we added 640 more laboratory confirmed cases yesterday on a testing volume of about 5,500. So that 640 brings our total to 17,670. Now, notably, this is a smaller rate of increase than yesterday, and indeed we’ve seen five consecutive days of slower rates of growth.
Commissioner Malcolm: (23:40)
And that’s great. That’s what we hope to see. That is far too soon to declare that a trend though. As the governor said, we haven’t yet seen any impacts of the reopening measures that we’ve taken over the last periods of time with more businesses coming online and with the transition of the stay at home order to the Stay Safe Minnesota order just happening on Monday. It’s far too early to declare that we are on the downward slope. Indeed, as the Governor said, our projections, both the model that was developed at the University of Minnesota, as well as data that we are sharing all the time with our health system partners around the state, does show a lot of sensitivity in those projections to how much social movement is going on. So we all have the models that we look at, do still say we’re on the upswing and anticipate the peak in Minnesota coming likely sometime in July, but could be anywhere from late June to the middle of August, as those ranges continued to be quite wide.
Commissioner Malcolm: (24:48)
So the relative stability of the growth rate of the cases is one of the signs that tells us that measured approach to continuing to open our society makes sense. However, we have had a continued inexorable rise in hospitalizations at a measured pace, but we are getting to the point where we know the load is not equally distributed around the various hospitals and some of their ICUs are getting quite full. And we anticipate that some of the hospitals, and perhaps all of them, will be moving to activate their surge capacity in the coming weeks. So we’re a long way from finished here.
Commissioner Malcolm: (25:33)
In terms of the hospitalizations, there are currently 550 people in the hospital as of today, 212 of those in intensive care. As the Governor mentioned, the day before we saw a big spike of 57 new hospitalizations. Yesterday, there were only five. So we just continue to be in a pattern with a lot of variation in it, which gives us a lot of pause for and concern, on my part, that we’re not in a situation that I would call predictable in terms of where the virus is going next.
Commissioner Malcolm: (26:10)
Sadly, we added another 29 fatalities yesterday in Minnesota, one of our higher days in terms of people passing away from this disease. And the demography there continues generally to skew toward the older ages, two persons over age 100, seven in their 90’s, eight in their 80’s, five in their 70’s, 50 in their 60’s, and one person in their 50’s, and one in their 40’s. So again, this is not something that never affects younger people from a mortality standpoint. And the growth rate has been concentrated significantly in the Metro area, but as the Governor has mentioned multiple times, those eight counties with food production plant facilities that have been the site of some of the fastest growth in the country on a per population basis, some of our counties do rank right up there in terms of the national totals of rate of growth, which is another one of those caution signs for us.
Commissioner Malcolm: (27:15)
But I’m happy to say that over the last few days, the percentage of new cases that those eight counties represent seems to be leveling off a bit. So that’s the whole key to the future strategy, as the governor has said time and time again, is going to be going forward, our ability to find those cases quickly through testing, isolate them and do the disease investigation, the case investigations, to find the people who were in close contact, isolate and quarantine those folks, control those hotspots, is the way that we can manage the continued growth of the outbreak in Minnesota once community spread is at a controlled level.
Commissioner Malcolm: (27:55)
So that’s another one of those metrics that we’re really looking sharply at, is what percentage of the cases have no known contact, no epidemiological link that we can make? So we’re looking for that community spread number to be stable. And that too has been bouncing around quite a lot. We don’t want to see that community spread percentage over 30%, we’re hovering right about there. So another indicator that we are not to the point of saying that the danger has passed from a general community standpoint. Part of why it’s so important that we keep the social distancing and that we take a very measured move today.
Commissioner Malcolm: (28:35)
And so I really want to appreciate the robust discussion that we’ve had over the last few days and the decision that the governor has come to is a cautious one. And I think it’s incremental and it’s cautious because the data indicate that we need to continue to be cautious with this degree of community spread, this degree of case growth, the potential for outbreaks, and the fact that we are still building that core capacity that we need to do the testing and tracing and isolation and quarantine that we need.
Commissioner Malcolm: (29:10)
We’ve made great, good progress, our health system partners have, in building up intensive care capacity that may be about to be tested a little bit. And the personal protective equipment that remains so very important to frontline workers, and to healthcare workers, and to others in close contact with people that they’re caring for, continues to be a challenge and Commissioner Alice Davis Roberts and her team continue to turn over every leaf and every rock to try to build further those supplies. So with that, I’m going to turn it to my colleague Commissioner Grove, just to talk more specifically about the moves that are being made here. I just wanted to set the context within the scope of today’s information, the outbreak, and how very important I think it is that this be a measured move, which I believe it is. Commissioner Grove.
Commissioner Grove: (30:16)
Well, thank you, Commissioner, Governor. Hello everybody. And I’m here to walk through a bit more of the details on this announcement. I did want to just begin, though, by echoing the Governor’s sentiments in thinking our business community. This has been an unprecedented challenge for Minnesota businesses across our state, and we are very grateful for the sacrifices that they’ve made to help slow the spread of this disease. And I think really all of Minnesota owes our business community a debt of gratitude for helping us slow this spread as we’ve been able to prepare for that peak that is coming, as the Governor said.
Commissioner Grove: (30:45)
And in addition to being grateful for those sacrifices, I think we’ve all been very impressed by the innovation, the community spirit that our business community has brought to this, whether it’s changing their business models to create masks or PPE or other things that we desperately need, or getting really creative with how to deliver services in new ways in this new era of social distancing and end curbside delivery and pick up and what have you.
Commissioner Grove: (31:07)
So I think it’s that kind of innovation and creativity that we have seen in our business community that’s going to get us through these next phases of the process. So we’re eager to continue to partner with business, as the Governor said. And I did want to say that today in his announcement, both of what is coming on June 1st, but I think also more importantly, a look at the phases that will come after that, and we really felt that it was important not only to say what’s coming next, but what would the steps be after that such that we can provide some predictability to our business community. They know what’s coming next. They can begin to plan out. We don’t have timelines for every phase, as you’ll see in a moment, but we do have some phases that make logical sense from a public health perspective, from an economic perspective, that give a sense of what’s on the horizon.
Commissioner Grove: (31:47)
So I would encourage people to go to mn.gov/covid19 and click on the Stay Safe MN tab, and you’ll see a grid that lays those phases out in clarity. I’m going to walk through them here to give some context to it, but I think it is quite detailed, and for good reason. Because the details really matter in this moment. And so I’ll start with the phase that is coming into effect on June 1st. And the big changes the governor highlighted a moment ago focused on restaurants and bars, personal care services, and camp grounds and charter boats.
Commissioner Grove: (32:21)
So I’ll start with restaurants and bars. Starting June 1st, restaurants and bars can be open for outdoor dining only. We have clear evidence from the health experts that outdoor settings are a lot safer than indoor settings, and so we’re making that move to have outdoor dining begin to become an option. Of course, six feet between tables, all the social distancing rules that have been in place from the beginning still apply, no more than 50 total people at an outdoor setting for a restaurant to keep that capita at a manageable level, and then in terms of the party size, we’re asking that people keep it to four total, or six if you’re a family. So trying to limit the party size of folks that are at restaurants again to try to limit the unpredictability of that environment.
Commissioner Grove: (33:02)
Reservations will be required so you can’t just walk in, and we’re asking that all workers in these settings wear masks. And we’re strongly encouraging customers to wear masks too. And really this is about the safety of workers, right? As workers come back into that environment, if customers are wearing masks, especially when they’re interacting, when they’re giving their order to a waiter or what have you, that does help prevent the spread to workers who are taking that risk to come in and serve you. So we are requiring workers to wear masks, strongly encouraging patrons to wear a mask. We get it. You can’t wear a mask and eat and drink, so there’s some practical things here where we have to take the mask off, but having that mask when you come in, using it when you’re having conversation, or moving it to eat and drink is the critical guidance.
Commissioner Grove: (33:43)
Now, obviously not every restaurant has an outdoor deck or a patio or a readymade place to sit and have this kind of interaction, so we are eager to see municipalities get a little creative here and get a little innovative with restaurants to find ways to make makeshift outdoor space work. We know that the different cities have different zoning restrictions on this, and we ask that they get creative and find ways to make that possible for restaurants who might not have access to that space.
Commissioner Grove: (34:09)
My colleagues in MnDOT are looking into ways to find rideaways and sidewalks and parking spaces that might be available for outdoor dining, and they’ll be releasing some guidance and thoughts on that coming soon. But I think, just as we’ve seen restaurants innovate on curbside delivery and pickup, we’re going to see this new round of innovation for outdoor seating. And some restaurants have it and it’s part of their business model. Others will have to create it, but an important step forward to begin to get that dine-in happening in a safe and thoughtful manner.
Commissioner Grove: (34:36)
The second area that we will be changing as of June 1st is personal care services. So this is the barbers, the hair salons, the nail salons, the tattoo parlors. These happen generally indoors. There’s not a lot of outdoor barbers out there. So we do recognize it has to happen inside, but we’re limiting capacity to 25%. And when I say limit capacity, it’s 25% of the fire code. So every business out there has a max capacity fire code. That’s what I’m talking about when I talk about these percentages of the fire code. It’s that percentage that you have in your OSHA requirements. Masks are required for both the patron and the worker in this use case. Obviously you’re getting a haircut or a tattoo, there’s someone and you’re pretty close. You’re within six feet. So wearing a mask is required for both workers and clients in those settings. Appointment only, no walk-ins. So 25% capacity then for personal care services.
Commissioner Grove: (35:27)
And then camp grounds and charter boats, we’re also making a shift on June 1st. We’re allowing those operations to take place. Camp grounds, of course, we need to take care to make sure that the campsite configuration is socially distant. There’s common areas in campgrounds so we got to get that right too. We have some clear guidelines on social distancing there and sanitation plans for these common areas. You can find all of that on the DNR website. Charter boats too. So charter boats are allowed to resume activity with appropriate social distancing on those boats. So six feet or more between both the crew and the captain. Unless you’re all a family, and then it’s OK to be close as per the usual guidelines. So lots more on the DNR’s website there to take a look at.
Commissioner Grove: (36:09)
So those are the three big changes coming on June 1st. And I want to remind people what remains the same, because I think that’s important to know too. So the guidance that remains the same is that gatherings of 10 or less is the limit for gatherings out and about. If you’re a business that can telework, you have to telework. This is a must, not a should. Telework is critical if you can get that done. And so that remains the guidance as well. Non-critical businesses, same thing. For retail, we’re still at that 50% capacity as we mentioned before. Churches remain at the same guidance as we had before, which is indoors, 10 people or less, or outdoors, 10 folks are less, or drive-in services, which you’ve seen churches really innovate on, bringing folks into the parking lot and sitting in cars is a new way to get this right. And so we encourage churches to look into options like that. And again, the rest of this is really the same.
Commissioner Grove: (36:59)
So that’s the June 1 guidance. But again, this is a phased approach that we’re launching. And so I want to walk through just briefly the changes that will come in the next two phases so you get a sense of what’s on the horizon. And again, no timing on this, but I know the governor wants to move as quick as we can as it relates to these stages, so long as public health guidance is met and that we’re being careful and doing this in a safe way. And we’re going to look at that data and make the right science based decisions for Minnesota.
Commissioner Grove: (37:24)
The next phase, gatherings will go up to 20 or less. So that gathering limit will increase. Restaurants and bars will then move into an indoor setting as well. Max capacity will be 50% indoors with six foot of social distancing, masks required for both workers and customers. Personal care services will move to 50% as well. They went from 25% in the previous phase, so we’ll pop that up to 50%. And then in addition, some outdoor entertainment venues will begin to open. So movies in the park and concerts and some of those great things about summer will come in that phase. Again, six feet of distance, 25% capacity. We’ll top that at 250, just given the need to ensure that gathering sizes remain small and socially distance and mask requirements there too.
Commissioner Grove: (38:09)
Churches will be a part of that next phase as well. We know this is such an important issue for so many Minnesotans and important part of life. And so we’ll move to have indoors at 10 or less, but outdoor services will be part of that next phase. So it’s good timing because it’s summer, so we’ll see some outdoor services. Six feet of distance between parties, max parties of 100 total, because we know that for some really large churches, getting that right ensures we have to keep a cap on the total number that can be there, and then required masks.
Commissioner Grove: (38:39)
And then we got to try to do some new things here. We’ve got to limit things like singing in those environments, which of course is just such a great part about church or celebration. But when you look at the data on the choirs that have been total hotspots for spread, even when social distancing existed, singing is one of the worst things that you can do, even when you’re socially distant from each other. So we’ll have some guidelines on that too, and I’m sure our faith leaders will get creative on those points to make sure that the celebration could still be great even with some new changes. And that next phase as well, pools will open at a 50% capacity too. So that’s what we’re sort of calling phase three.
Commissioner Grove: (39:14)
And then the last phase that we’re prepared to roll out today would then be, in terms of just guidance for the future, would then move into things like gyms and fitness centers. We know that a fitness center is a more risky environment, given the exertion, the heavy breathing, the sweat, and things like that. So gyms will come in that next phase. They’ll be indoors and outdoors. Of course six feet of distance, caps at 50%, masks required unless you’re strenuously exercising. So similar to restaurants. You have a mask with you, you wear it whenever you can, but if you’re strenuously exercising or eating, you don’t wear it. Bowling alleys and movie theaters and some of the entertainment options will open in that phase as well. Social distancing, again, 25% capacity, max of 250. And then we’ll look at masks requirements there too. And then places of worship, we’ll see a tick up as well. We’ll go to a max of 250 and some larger. We’ll go indoors as well for churches in that next phase. Where the previous phase is outdoors, next phase will be indoor.
Commissioner Grove: (40:11)
So I’ve gotten into a lot of details here and I realize that you’re trying to write them all down, you probably didn’t get it all because there’s a ton. I will say, go to mn.gov/covid19, you’ll see all that information in front of you and we’ll have a lot more details on it for folks to absorb. But I did think it important just to walk through some of the key points here. And as you think about that dial, it’s outdoors to indoors, it’s capacity limits that go up over time, it’s mask requirements that come into place, and it’s these safety and guidance pieces that make the advancement of those phases possible and practical.
Commissioner Grove: (40:44)
And I’ll just say that we’re going to continue. We have a week and a half until June 1 starts, so we’re going to be doing a lot of outreach and engagement on this. Myself and my colleague, Mr. Lepping, are holding a webinar tomorrow at 11:00 AM for anybody who wants to come and get some further guidance and answer questions on it, we’ll do a lot more of that in the coming weeks and a half. So some positive changes today. Some, I think, important changes for our economy that allows some businesses to get back up and running in a safe way, and then roadmap for what comes next so that businesses can start to prepare and understand the order of things. With that I’ll turn it back to you, Governor.
Governor Tim Walz: (41:22)
Thank you, Commissioner Malcolm and Grove. As you can hear, a lot goes into this and it’s maddeningly complex. I know it’s frustrating to all of you listening, but it’s based on the science, it’s based on, again, that very simple principle of slowing the spread of this so we don’t overwhelm the healthcare system. I also want to acknowledge the balancing act that goes into this. And again, I’ll first acknowledge that we certainly know we’re not perfect and try and measure all those things. I do want to acknowledge to the workers in this, that that is a very key part that we weigh in this. Acknowledging that worker safety is a top priority. It’s one of the reasons last week we put in the executive order protecting workers to be able to work hand-in-hand. I want to echo Commissioner Grove’s…
Governor Tim Walz: (42:03)
The work hand in hand. I want to echo commissioner Groves, compliments, and rightfully so to the business community of being creative and working on this. We know our business community doesn’t want their workers to get sick and they’re coming up with great ways to do it. I think working hand in hand with those workers who express some fear about coming back, making them comfortable. This is all about the psychology, again, of both the workers and the customers feeling safe to come back just because we say it’s open, we’re seeing elsewhere in the country, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll come back the way they won’t come back is if they feel that it’s incredibly unsafe. And one of the reasons we have to be so careful about this, if it were just an individual’s choice to not wear a mask and congregate close together, that’s one thing.
Governor Tim Walz: (42:41)
But that action impacts the rest of society. And that’s what we’re trying to balance. And, I do want to, before I go to questions, this issue on PPE and trying to gather as much as we can and stockpile this. When my friend Mary Turner, a nurse tells me that she’s concerned about this, and she’s concerned in individual hospitals, I’m concerned. Because these are frontline workers. And while we’re doing things that I think we hadn’t done before, but we think the science is good behind them like disinfecting and reusing a mask that makes frontline people nervous, and rightfully so. So I want to acknowledge that we’re trying to strike that balance. And I just ask everyone again, when we make a decision, not to social distance, when we made a decision to not wear a mask and be in close contact with one another, that puts more pressure on the PPE supply and the folks at the hospital that puts people like Mary’s and thousands of others at more risk.
Governor Tim Walz: (43:37)
And so in balancing this again, this is I’ll go back before I go to questions. It’s that simmering pot. We could turn it down and have it flat. If we locked everybody down, we know that that wasn’t sustainable. We could let everybody go back to what they’re doing and it would boil over and we’d see what’s happened elsewhere. Or we can try and use science, our best analysis and a collaborative effort to keep it just below the boil with as much open to provide economic opportunities, health, both physical and mental, and then some of the joys in life that are found. And so with that, we’ll be glad to answer any questions I’d like commissioners to be ready on the details. Dave, you want to start?
Yeah, I didn’t hear anything about youth sports or summer camps.
Governor Tim Walz: (44:25)
They’re in there. They just didn’t get it all. But these are very important pieces, Steve. I’m going to turn to you.
Thanks, Governor, thanks Dave. I’m just pulling up my notes on this. So there’s nothing in this June one phase that changes from the previous guidance on outdoor recreation, youth sports. Where we’re currently at with sort of outdoor recreation for kids is that day camps are okay. Obviously this is a critical source of daycare for so many parents as a parent of two young three year olds. I know this all too well. And then as it relates to sports itself, sports that can be played on an individual manner. And in smaller groups again under 10 are okay, there’s a whole playbook for sports on DNRs website. We’re not in the stage yet of games being a part of this guidance, but that’s something we’ll evaluate again, as we continue to go through the phases.
Over night camps are not okay?
They’re not okay. No, it’s just day camps. So it’s that kind of day like experience that you have, it’s a sort of akin to daycare. Overnight camps present different challenges. So we’re not there yet.
Speaker 3: (45:22)
Are you looking at those camps pretty much be out for the summer, then?
I don’t think we’re prepared to announce that yet. I think as you look through the phases, we’ll think about other steps that we can take moving forward. We know there such a critical part of summer for so many kids. That’s what summer makes summer great for so many kids. And so we understand that desire, but we’ve got to make sure we get it right. And in the right pace.
Governor Tim Walz: (45:42)
That’s a good question, though. This unpredictability is the hardest for everybody. It’s hardest for parents. It’s harder for the clubs. The thing that drives this, is what the virus is doing and what we’re doing. So I think Jan would say that, and I’m unwilling to give and say, we’re not going to do any of these things at this point in time. Because there is the potential that if we get this right, we flatten it and these things are possible. I do think it’s incumbent upon us to be as brutally honest about this, that that’s not the way the curve is looking right now.
Governor Tim Walz: (46:13)
That’s not the things that we expect and I think people should be prepared for that. But I also think it’s just a little bit too early to look at that. I, again, when I talked to our team about June 1st and getting these dates, right. The difference between today and June 1st will feel like a lifetime. I mean, it’s hard to believe that they’re talking about our peak potentially being in July and August. That would mean basically today, we’re standing at the midway point from those first cases till we hit peak and it has been a lifetime. So I’m just a little bit hesitant to make any too far predictions just because of the rapid changes. So, yes ma’am.
Speaker 4: (46:51)
Governor, if I can just ask, I know that you said that restaurant’s indoors will be in the second phase, but there got to be an awful lot of people here who are listening right now, who don’t have outdoor spaces. Who live in a community where they haven’t done the regulation. And according to Lisa Rammer and the hospitality in Minnesota, they’re not going to make it. What do you say to those people? Because I’m sure they’re going to be very disappointed with this.
Governor Tim Walz: (47:17)
Well, and again, if it was certainly up to me, we wouldn’t have coronavirus and we’d have everything open, but it is here. And it’s where we’re at in this process. We’re further down the curve than many states. What I would say is that we are trying to move this in a manner that makes sense. I think what we talked about, and there’s a lot of discussions going back and forth last night, till 2:00 AM, for many of us about watching how this rolls out, watching what they’re able to do and innovate with this and then trying to move forward. That’s why I don’t want to put a date, certain. I want to give the lead time that restaurants are rolling back up. Folks who do have the outside space. And I think commissioners right, I certainly respect the sovereignty and the choices that are made around local communities being able to get into this.
Governor Tim Walz: (48:05)
This should give you some opportunities to be creative, open up that space, block off a street, allow some of these folks to find it. But for those who absolutely can’t, what I would tell them is, we totally understand and we’ve seen it. And I had a message back and forth with Eric Dayton and the folks at the Bachelor Farmer and talking about many things that factor into restaurants. There are always very thin line. It’s always very difficult and a disruption like this is unprecedented in the industry. What I would tell them is to continue to work on this, continue to work with us, know that we’re doing everything we can on the thing that we can control this. But the hardest thing I think to get through and to think about, because it’s hard to grasp is, it is going to get worse here as the virus before it gets better.
Governor Tim Walz: (48:50)
That is an absolute guarantee. And I think that’s the thing. If we were certainly on the other side, if we have the capacity to do that today, I think we discussed it. If that would be possible. I think the health experts at this time say it’s not. So again, they don’t need… What I hear from them is they certainly don’t need sympathy from me. What they need is guidance of how they get there. They need to have the facts to be able to go once again, what you would see and you’re seeing this in states, even if there were no restriction on this, it’s going to be very difficult to get people to go indoors. Especially those who know that Minnesota’s infection rates are relatively high right now.
Scott Peterson: (49:28)
Governor Walz, Scott Peterson, Minnesota News Network. House minority leader, Kurt Daudt put out a statement saying that “Today’s announcement show why you should be working with the legislature instead of going it alone.” He asked the question, what is the science that allows indoor salon services, but restricts restaurants to outdoor seating? And then he says many Main Street businesses can’t afford to wait until June 1st, outdoor seating should begin right away. What do you say to that?
Governor Tim Walz: (49:59)
Jan, do you want to talk about that interaction? This is the one we have many, many discussions around this. I would say we are working with the legislature. We tried for four months to work with the legislature. I will continue to try and work with the legislature. There’s some signs. I get it. There’s a group of people out there that says this isn’t that big a deal. Let’s open up the restaurants, the science behind that doesn’t agree with that. And so.
I think if I understood the comment, it was why open up personal care settings, but not restaurants, was that okay?
Scott Peterson: (50:36)
Well, I think as the Governor said so much of this turns around closeness of exposure, length of exposure and predictability of the setting. So, for a personal care service, as commissioner Grove said, there’ll be capacity restrictions. So they won’t be able be a lot of people in the space at the same time. In many of these we know are very small shops. It could be a sole proprietor with one chair or a couple of proprietors. So they certainly can accomplish that kind of size control. The guidance indicates that masking is necessary for clients and worker. And in the case of the worker who is in physical proximity to the client by virtue of the service we’re advising not only a cloth, a covering, but a face shield.
So some specific ways that workers can be protected, but those are generally not terribly long encounters either. They can be. And from that perspective, you know, we might suggest that again, appointments be carefully monitored for their length. And it might be that haircut’s a good idea. And a hair coloring is not a good idea, just from a length of the encounter perspective. In a restaurant, the whole point is to go and stay and converse and have a good time. And again, of course, take out and delivery options remain. We do hope that more restaurants are able to create outdoor opportunities, even if they might not have them today. But I think it’s just that the concentration of people, the length of time they’re together and the intermixing of not just your immediate party, but others. And that, it’s just a very different environment in a small personal service salon.
But if I can follow up on that, that concentration proximity, outdoor dining, a maximum of 50 people, outdoor church service maximum of 10, that I don’t, can you explain?
Governor Tim Walz: (52:47)
I will try on this, too. This is one that I will, it might be in the right frame with church service confess on this one that we struggle on some of these, and there is not a perfect answer. Trying to figure it out. And we have brought just candidly, the way this is presented to me. I went out and asked to follow the science, use courses of action from one that would be considered, keep that pot still don’t do anything to be as aggressive as possible. And this one wafts between both of them, between the two of them. And I think, and I’m hearing strongly on this of trying to figure out how we make that happen, because I think the logic behind it. And I think Jan, again, it was the predictability of who’s there, but I think you could argue, boy, I see the same people every Sunday at my congregation.
Governor Tim Walz: (53:36)
And in fact, the Smith’s sat in the same pew every year for 30 years. So we know exactly where they’re at, we know exactly where they are. I just want to say that I think there is a very strong sense of urgency for us to figure this piece out around churches. And I say that about all the businesses, but I do think these pieces of people’s lives, we need to try and get it around. So, Dave, I would just tell you, I think it goes with the predictability piece of it. I will again say that I don’t think that it’s perfect. And I think there’s some things that we have to still continue to figure out. It’s one of the reasons with the next phases that I don’t want to set a timeline on it. Because I think if we get these things that many folks are prepared to move pretty rapidly to implement the things that are being asked of them to get there. And I think just to be on this one is we want to see what happens for a short period of time with the changes we’ve made and want to get there. But I will acknowledge the logic of that argument is sound, the concerns are there. And that this is one that we probably had more conversations about this and graduation ceremonies than maybe anything else. You know, the restaurants are pretty clear what the data is. We think we know how to get them there. These are two little more challenging.
Speaker 5: (54:54)
I just have a question about testing. I think it was four weeks ago, tomorrow that you announced the partnership with University of Minnesota and the Mayo Clinic. And you said the goal is to get to 20,000 tests a day that you should be there by this time. We’re not there. We’re not really even close. We certainly decreased our testing. What happened? And what impact has that had on your overall modeling in terms of the peak and the projections-
Governor Tim Walz: (55:18)
Oh, that’s right. We set a floor of, we had to get to 5,000. We wanted to be end of May at 5,000 and move towards a buildup of 20,000. I thought the projection and we’ll see, Jan can maybe talk about this, was to hopefully by the end of May. I said those first weeks of May, I wanted to see us over 5,000 on a daily basis. I think we’re averaging 6,000 this last week. This one is complex. And again, I will take this from the perspective of what I ask, because I want to be very clear the responsibility to get that testing tracing and isolation falls upon us. That is a key to being able to get these open. If I had more tests and had more tracers, would I have a higher comfort level with moving some of these things? Yes. Did it impact this decision because we didn’t have the 10,000 or the 20,000 we’re going to? No, not so much.
Governor Tim Walz: (56:06)
Because I think we needed to see this roll out and see what happens. There are issues on this, the call I had with Hologic Panther this morning with Kevin over there, the CEO, just candidly and there, everybody’s a little cautious about talking about it, because they’re a little bit nervous, which is a sad testament to the situation we’re in. These were on their way ordered and they were picked off somewhere in the chain by the federal government. No one all the way up to the Vice President has been able to tell me who picked them off. And we talked personally for 20 minutes and then Dr. Birx followed up and talked to me for 20 minutes. And then she talked to Commissioner Malcolm for 20 minutes and I talked to the CEO today.
Governor Tim Walz: (56:41)
So there still is a little bit of the supply chain, but I want to be very clear on this. My instruction to my team was, that is an obstacle that we have to work around that we will not take no and say that and I’ll let Jan talk a little bit about it. The good news is, we have the capacity to test over 10,000 today. We are setting on that capacity without the people testing. Not coming in asymptomatic and us figuring out how to push the test to them, to go out and find them to test these areas. And that’s what’s happened this week of taking the National Guard out there and testing longterm care. So Jan, you want to talk about how we get there?
Yeah, Governor, I think you got it exactly. We have been disappointed that there’s not been more demand incoming to the clinics and the sites that have been created. We’ve seen, again kind of ups and downs. Some of the clinics have established drive-in sights that have ramped up in busyness and then kind of fallen back down. One of the lessons we’re learning from other states is particularly to get at populations that we know just struggle to have more access to healthcare and are not getting tested for a variety of reasons. We’re going to need to get in mobile testing situations and take the test to them as the Governor said. So that’s work that is building up right now. The longterm care plan, as you heard us say, I think it was just a week ago, Governor, although the weeks are blurring in my mind, I must say. We’ve been going out to test longterm care facilities. Just looking for my notes here.
How many have we done? We’ve tested all residents and all staff in 39 facilities so far, including over 7,000 residents and staff. We have 30 scheduled for next week. We’ve rolled out a survey tool that allows longterm care sites to request testing for their facilities. It’s our goal to get to every single one, that’s got a positive case or two or more people who are symptomatic. 300 facilities have already responded to get on that testing schedule. So that’s just an example of, we know there’s a lot of population there. That’s exactly the right population. From a risk perspective, we’ve been doing aggressive testing in the food processing plants.
We know that a lot of employers are interested in setting up testing programs for their workers. We are talking with law enforcement about a more kind of open testing regimen for them. So, whereas we didn’t know how many people with the restrictive testing criteria might have been wanting to get tests, but not coming in. We still have to get the message out and appreciate your help in doing that. That anybody with any symptoms should be getting tested. But that volume has not materialized as quickly as we frankly thought. So this next step of creating mobile testing sites and going to the people is where we need to go.
Speaker 5: (59:52)
[inaudible 00:59:52] on the missing tests. Are you saying that… How many tests are missing? Are we talking a few hundred?
Governor Tim Walz: (01:00:00)
Speaker 5: (01:00:01)
Those kits, yes. [crosstalk 01:00:02].
The actual testing machines got rerouted.
Speaker 5: (01:00:07)
Yeah, the machines themselves. They can test thousands. These are high through puts and they got, and I’m just candid and I’m sure that they would verify this because they’ve been very helpful. The Vice President heard me mention this to him. He followed up and called me. I told him I hadn’t found it. He said, he’d get Dr. Birx and the Admiral on it, Polowczyk to find these things. We couldn’t find them. And I found a sheepish CEO today kind of saying, “Well, we have to do where they tell us to send them.” This has been a frustration because I take them seriously. If the state’s responsibility is to do this, we need to do it.
Speaker 5: (01:00:39)
I’ve only asked, and the only thing I asked of them was is help us with the supplies specifically, sometimes the reagent, but mostly on the swab issue, but that did happen. But for us, and I think it’s clear, that’s not the only reason we’re not getting all the tests, I think for longterm to get us there. What I would say to all of you and I’ve challenged my team on this. I wanted us above 5,000 by the 1st of May. So we could do an aggressive kind of reopening with the testing, tracing and isolation, because we’re going to need these tests in the fall. We’re going to need them until we get a vaccine and we have to have it to scale. So what I would say is watch over the next week or so we need to be up around 10,000. And I think you see that if we’re at 10,000, that puts us at a per capita higher than any state in the union, that gives me much more confidence that we’re able to put out these fires when they show up, we’re able to be more aggressive then. Scott.
Scott Peterson: (01:01:28)
Governor, you mentioned a little bit earlier concerns about healthcare workers that you mentioned, Minnesota Nurse Associations, Mary Turner. Nurses are marching on the State Capitol today. They say they don’t have enough personal protective equipment for their patients and themselves. And the health departments acknowledged the CDC, relaxed it’s guidance on PPE usage. Can you guarantee to Minnesotans when COVID, the peak comes that the state will have enough PPE to ensure the safety of patients and the people caring for them?
Governor Tim Walz: (01:01:59)
Yes, that’s what I have to do. And I have to work with our private sector hospitals because they manage their own PPE supply. We’re there to now again, before this happened, Minnesota was in pretty good shape, but we had eight regions. We had at least a inkling of what was out there. Meaning how many beds we had, how many ventilators we had. No state had an idea of how many masks they had, how many gloves they had and all of that. And then who was ordering it?
Governor Tim Walz: (01:02:26)
The state of Minnesota doesn’t order for Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic does that on their own, but what we decided and we thought at the time, well, the state will be back-filled by the strategic national stockpile. There is no strategic national stockpile. And then when we started ordering, we started competing against everyone else. So my guarantee has to be that. And that’s what keeps me up at night that I have to balance this against it. And again, the challenge for Minnesota is, we asked everyone to shelter in place for those first seven weeks to give us the time to build this up. We got those built up, we think we’re ready. And like Jan said, we’re going to have to kick over-
Governor Tim Walz: (01:03:03)
We got those built up. We think we’re ready. And like Jan said, we’re going to have to kick over and use some of our 24-hour supplies on ICU. But we got there, and now it’s months until our peak. And so that was the thing is, are you going to continue to shut down dentists? Are you continue to shut down elective surgery? We’re trying to strike that balance again, and this is that boiling pot. Let them burn up some of this. But if this gets out of hand too fast, they will burn through it. And I want to acknowledge that. And there’s a lot of tension between the hospitals and the nurses that they serve on how they’re using their PPE, what they’re normally used to doing and what they’re being asked to do right now.
Governor Tim Walz: (01:03:41)
What I would say to Minnesotans, if your nurses are nervous about it, there’s probably a reason to be nervous about it. And as I’ve always said, until it’s in the warehouse and… I don’t put these stories out there to complain about things getting picked off. When we do mention one of these, it’s because we’re frustrated. We had gowns?
Gowns and masks-
Governor Tim Walz: (01:04:02)
That were diverted?
Governor Tim Walz: (01:04:04)
They’re on the way to us. We ordered them. We had them. Somebody in federal government steps in and they go elsewhere.
Governor Tim Walz: (01:04:09)
Now, I don’t disagree with the philosophy that the federal government should have a plan for the entire 50 states and territories, and put resources to where there’s a crisis. But we’ve never seen that plan. We don’t know why the decision is made. We don’t know why the White House would divert masks away when Stearns County ranks in the top 10 of counties in infection rates going up. That doesn’t seem to have a rhyme or reason. And there’s no published data that tells us why, and no one answers on that.
Governor Tim Walz: (01:04:40)
Am I still concerned about where they’re at? Yes. Are we doing… And the commissioner and her team, and the help we’re getting from the private sector, they’re in pretty good shape, but I have to tell you it’s a fine line still. And this is again, the biggest thing we can do is keep social distancing. Don’t get where we have to use this and don’t burn this so that these nurses can use what they have in these cases they need to have.
Speaker 6: (01:05:06)
I’ve got a question from NPR for Commissioner Grove. If employee test positive and must stay home for two weeks, are they eligible for unemployment insurance? And can employers continue to pay them and get reimbursed if they’re not?
Commissioner Steve Grove: (01:05:27)
Yeah. If you are affected by COVID and need to leave work, you are eligible for unemployment insurance and should apply immediately. Different businesses have different policies in place for sick leave and things like that. But as Governor’s Executive Order 2005 laid out, if you are affected by COVID-19, even if it’s just a furlough for a week or two, you are eligible.
Commissioner Steve Grove: (01:05:46)
I want to add just one more point if I could because I didn’t mention it before, since I’m up here. For any businesses coming back in as of June 1st for the plan that we’ve just laid out, all of the same guidelines in creating a plan are still there. We ask every business to go to our website, mn.gov/deed/safework. Download the templates there. They’re super simple. There’s guidance documents there to take a look at. But just really important for all businesses to have a plan in place and to share that with both employees and customers so that they know how you’re going to get this right as you begin to come back into the business.
Speaker 7: (01:06:16)
This question is from Theo Keith and he wants you to respond to this tweet from Senator Carrie Ruud. And this is a direct quote from the tweet. “It’s obvious in more ways than one that he (Walz) has never been in a gym or fitness center #noclue #tonedeaf.” Obviously, there’s been a lot of personal criticisms of you throughout this. This appears to fall into that category. What’s your-
Governor Tim Walz: (01:06:45)
Yeah. I taught school too long to do that. I’m not going to take that one.
Speaker 8: (01:06:54)
Governor Walz, this is from Dana Ferguson of The Forum. She says restaurants and bars in the Brainerd Lakes area are hoping to open this weekend because Memorial Day weekend traffic drives a huge portion of their annual earnings. What guidance do you have for them? Some are talking about opening ahead of the June 1st date. And what kind of legal action, if any, would they face if they do that?
Governor Tim Walz: (01:07:17)
Well, once again, the last resort is to do anything legal action. The idea is about trying to get people to do it because it’s the right thing to do to bring people back. I have no doubt some of these businesses are prepared to try and go. The ideas of letting it hot shot go or to trying put it in makes it more difficult if we have outbreaks, if we’re not doing this. If people are wondering about the reservation piece of it, it makes contact tracing easier, it makes the ability to shut these things down.
Governor Tim Walz: (01:07:50)
My guidance to them is we’re moving as quickly as we can. We’re trying to give these options to go. I know it falls on Memorial Day. But once again, this virus doesn’t really care about our human dates. It doesn’t really care about the things that we have. We’ve got to figure out that it is unfortunate that many of them fall over this. How I wish this wouldn’t have come over graduation season or we would be done, but it’s the same principles that we’re not quite ready to do that. We have not yet seen what the implications are of what we did this week. And I think the Health Department is quite honestly not comfortable until we start to see that. Is that fair to say, Jan?
One more question for you. Governor, can you talk about the communications you’ve had with the tribes. I know that they’re they’re sovereign, but maybe you’ve had communications with them and advised them. They’re opening casinos in a way that I don’t believe it would be allowed if they weren’t on sovereign land, and I believe some youth sports including hockey rinks in some areas are being opened up there.
Governor Tim Walz: (01:08:43)
Yeah. Well thank you, Dave. This is a really good question. Minnesota is blessed that we have 11 sovereign nations. There’s a little bit of difference of what treaties they fall under, 1854, 1855, or Red Lake which has not signed one. But all in all, these are independent governments that work in conjunction with the State of Minnesota.
Governor Tim Walz: (01:09:05)
Our relationships are always ongoing. I have made it a central piece of this, and has as Lieutenant Governor Flanagan. And for both of us, one of our friendships was bound around this idea. Some of you know, I started and taught a little school out in Wolf Creek on Pine Ridge. And of course, Lieutenant Governor Flanagan is an enrolled member of the White Earth Nation. We believe very strongly about government-to-government relationships and collaboration. We’ve talked very closely. These independent entities have the opportunity to do the decisions that they make. They work very closely with us and mirrored our stay-at-home orders, all the way up to the point where we’re at right now. They are starting to and thinking about how they are going to reopen. Some of them will be opening immediately. Some are waiting till the end of the month like Mystic Lake, Shakopee Mdewakanton. We work with them. We talk to them, we’re actually learning from them because they have had experts come in and look at their space. What does it take and what can you do in a casino? Because obviously those would be things that would make us nervous, not predictable, how much time you spend there and all of that, but we’re looking at them.
Governor Tim Walz: (01:10:14)
But what I would say is that I respect the sovereignty of these nations. They will make the decisions based on the best interest and the health of their employees and their patrons that go there. The State of Minnesota is not going to step in there and tell them not to do these things. They will communicate and tell us what they’re doing. And I think for the most part, we’re moving pretty much hand in hand, but I do think you’ll see a little bit of a variation there where the individual tribes… I think you should be very clear. These are 11 independent entities. They, many times work together on things, but there’s a lot of times they diverge, so some will and some won’t.
Governor Tim Walz: (01:10:53)
Well, again, Minnesota, I appreciate those of you who were spending time.