Minnesota bars, restaurants to move to take-out only, gyms to close under new COVID-19 restrictions

Gov. Tim Walz is expected to announce that Minnesota bars, breweries and restaurants will be restricted to take-out and delivery only, while all indoor fitness centers will be ordered to close under a new round of coronavirus restrictions as the virus continues its rapid spread throughout the state.

According to a source in the governor’s office, movie theaters, bowling alleys and other indoor entertainment venues are also set to close.

There are implications for youth sports as well: All youth and high school indoor sports will be put on pause, while outdoor sports will be allowed to continue. That means hockey arenas will be ordered closed, with exceptions for pro and college facilities.

The new measures are expected to go in effect just before midnight Friday and last four weeks, but they could be extended depending on the situation.

Hair salons, barbershops and retail stores will not be affected by the new restrictions, sources told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS. Nor will dental offices or elective surgeries.

Walz’s 6 p.m. announcement comes as hospitals around the state are filling up with COVID-19 patients.

Mayo Clinic in Rochester said it has already reached its ICU capacity for coronavirus patients, and hospitals around the metro have expressed worry about diminishing space.

Per Wednesday’s latest report from the Minnesota Department of Health, over 1,700 hospital beds were in use by COVID-19 patients as of Tuesday. According to MDH, over 350 of them are in intensive care.

The number of hospitalizations has increased by 36% in the past week alone.

You can watch Walz’s address at 6 p.m. on 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS and KSTP.com.