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Walz urges Trump, Biden campaigns to comply with Minnesota COVID-19 guidelines

From left, Democratic presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign event in Wilmington, Del; President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally in Tulsa, Okla., Saturday, June 20, 2020. Photo: AP photos. From left, Democratic presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign event in Wilmington, Del; President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally in Tulsa, Okla., Saturday, June 20, 2020.

Josh Skluzacek
Updated: September 15, 2020 05:09 PM
Created: September 15, 2020 04:18 PM

Gov. Tim Walz on Tuesday sent a letter urging President Donald Trump's and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden's campaigns to follow Minnesota's COVID-19 guidelines.

Both Trump and Biden are scheduled to campaign in Minnesota on Friday.

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In accordance with state guidelines, the events are not supposed to exceed 25% capacity for each venue, not exceeding 250 people. Walz said organizers can increase total attendance by choosing a venue with multiple spaces with separate capacity limits as long as each space follows the guidelines. Social distancing and masks are required indoors at all times but mask wearing isn't mandatory at outdoor events.

Walz's full letter is below:

To the Presidential Campaigns of President Donald J. Trump and Vice President Joe Biden,

Minnesotans care deeply about democracy. We are highly engaged in the political process and are proud to have the highest voter turnout in the nation. As the election nears, Minnesotans look forward to hearing from political candidates about their vision for our state and country. That includes visits from both of your presidential campaigns this week. While we welcome the opportunity for Minnesotans to participate in democracy, we ask that your events comply with our state’s COVID-19 safety guidelines. Partner with us in the fight against COVID-19. 

Minnesota’s Stay Safe Plan combats the spread of COVID-19 through various mitigation efforts. To comply with the relevant guidelines, your events generally must not exceed 25% capacity, not to exceed 250 people. You may be able to increase total attendance if you choose a venue with multiple event spaces with separate capacity limits, as long as you limit each separate space to the lesser of 250 people or 25% capacity. Attendees must maintain social distancing of at least six feet at all times, including when entering and exiting the event. Face coverings are required indoors and strongly encouraged outdoors. Complete guidance is available at: https://staysafe.mn.gov/industry-guidance/

For several weeks, the White House has encouraged us to “ensure compliance with current MN StaySafe Plan occupancy restrictions.” These rules are the best way to protect one another, allow our children to attend school, and keep our economy open. They are consistent with recommendations from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and from White House Coronavirus expert Dr. Deborah Birx. On a recent visit to Minnesota, Dr. Birx praised our state’s mitigation efforts. She stressed the importance of wearing face coverings, practicing social distancing, and avoiding large gatherings.  

COVID-19 continues to pose a threat to Minnesota. Over 1,900 Minnesotans have died from the virus, including more than 200 in the past month. Please demonstrate that you value Minnesota by protecting the health of our communities. Join us in our efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19, keep our businesses open, and get back to the activities we love. 

Sincerely,
Tim Walz
Governor of Minnesota


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