Minnesota, Midwest states partnering to reopen regional economy

Minnesota and several other Midwest states are partnering up to reopen the regional economy, according to a news release Thursday.

A release from the Gov. Tim Walz’s Office said Walz and Governors Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, Mike DeWine of Ohio, Tony Evers of Wisconsin, JB Pritzker of Illinois, Eric Holcomb of Indiana and Andy Beshear of Kentucky will work in close coordination to reopen the economy in the Midwest region.

"We are doing everything we can to protect the people of our states and slow the spread of COVID-19, and we are eager to work together to mitigate the economic crisis this virus has caused in our region," the governors said in a statement. "Here in the Midwest, we are bound by our commitment to our people and the community. We recognize that our economies are all reliant on each other, and we must work together to safely reopen them so hardworking people can get back to work and businesses can get back on their feet."

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The release adds that the governors’ top priorities will be the health and safety of citizens, and decisions will be based on facts, science and recommendations from experts in health care, business, labor and education.

The main four factors they’ll examine in making decisions are:

  • Sustained control of the rate of new infections and hospitalizations.
  • Enhanced ability to test and trace.
  • Sufficient health care capacity to handle resurgence.
  • And best practices for social distancing in the workplace.

"Phasing in sectors of our economy will be most effective when we work together as a region. This doesn’t mean our economy will reopen all at once, or that every state will take the same steps at the same time. But close coordination will ensure we get this right. Over time, people will go back to work, restaurants will reopen, and things will go back to normal. We look forward to working together as one region to tackle this challenge together."