Associated Press
Tuesday, April 27, 2021

RICHFIELD, Minn. (AP) - Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said Tuesday that new federal guidance allowing vaccinated people to go mask-free in many outdoor settings is a sign of progress and could help result in scaling back more COVID-19 restrictions next week.

“Masks coupled with vaccines is really the path out of this thing,” said Walz, who hoped that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announcement would convince more people to get shots and encourage them to wear masks when necessary.

Walz also cited the fact that active caseloads and new case counts continue to recede. Over the past two weeks, the rolling average number of daily new cases in Minnesota has decreased by more than 28%, according to Johns Hopkins University researchers.

“The moves coming now are the moves back to normal,” Walz said during a visit to a mobile vaccination site in Richfield.

“You can be in restaurants, you can be in movie theaters, we have kids in school, we’re doing most of those moves. The next moves are capacity limits coming off and some of those things,” Walz said.

Minnesota health officials on Tuesday reported 1,088 new COVID-19 cases and 12 new deaths due to complications from the coronavirus, raising the state’s totals to 507,518 known infections and 7,091 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

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