Walz says people need to avoid having Thanksgiving guests, hints at future regulations

“The only thing that’s at question is: how bad does it get?”

Screenshot from Minnesota Governor's Office YouTube

In a COVID-19 briefing Monday, Gov. Tim Walz said Minnesotans need to avoid gathering with people for Thanksgiving and hinted at more regulations coming soon.

As COVID-19 rates rise across the state, the Governor has asked people to stay home and the Minnesota Department of Health has put out guidelines for the holiday season.

“You need to not gather with people on Thanksgiving outside your immediate family or people who have been quarantined. That’s pretty clear,” said the governor. “I think it’s obvious we’re going to have to do more mitigation measures.”

Walz was joined by Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm and a group of frontline medical workers for the press conference.

“Suddenly I had earned a new designation, frontline worker. Honestly, I’ve always found this name laughable as it implies there’s a second line of us waiting in the wings. Minnesota, we are your only line,” Kelley Anaas, a registered nurse for over 12 years, said during the briefing. “Please Minnesota, stay home this Thanksgiving so you don’t have to ring in the new year with me.”

In order to slow the spread of COVID, Gov. Walz said he is planning to institute new regulations in the coming days. 

“So we’re going to do the best we possibly can on the public health side of it. I have to figure out the social compliance of how far people are going to go,” said Walz.

Commissioner Malcolm warned that even if the state makes plans, they may end up changing.

“The ground is really shifting under our feet and we need to adapt quickly. The plans we thought might be okay earlier this month even now may present an unacceptable risk to friends and family,” said Malcolm, saying the state is “at a crisis point.”

Minnesota has experienced 2,917 COVID-19 deaths, with that number projected to become 5,249 at the end of the year by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

“We’re going to pass a grim milestone, more than likely in the next 5 or 6 days we’re going to go past 300,000 Minnesotans with confirmed cases and we’re going to go past 3,000 deaths,” said Walz. “The only thing that’s at question is: how bad does it get?”