As some state drop COVID-19 restrictions, Minnesota carefully moves back towards normal

As the coronavirus pandemic moves towards and past what we hope are peaks, across the country, different states have radically different approaches to ending lockdowns.

With the federal government deferring to the judgement of governors, each state is deciding what's best for them. In Minnesota, our governor is very slowly loosening restrictions.

Starting Monday, it's estimated around 80,000 to 100,000 Minnesotans will be returning to work in what is the first phase of the state's plan to reopen.

"What we're trying to do in an unprecedented situation is create a Minnesota model that is able to find that sweet spot in the middle," said Walz.

Governor Walz looking for that “sweet spot" where Minnesota continues to slow the spread, but also gets back to work. The governor allowed manufacturing and non-customer facing office settings to reopen Monday.

"How do we make sure when we are doing those tradeoffs that there is a level of risk that's acceptable, that's not putting the most vulnerable at risk," the governor said, discussing his decision-making process.

This comes as Wisconsin extends its safer-at-home order another month until May 26, prompting protests in Madison on Friday.

The opposite approach is being taken in Georgia, one of the first states to reopen, with gyms, hair salons, and bowling alleys now allowed to welcome customers.

Meanwhile, Montana opened places of worship on Sunday and Tennessee will allow restaurants to open at 50 percent capacity starting Monday. Some states, like Iowa and Indiana, are allowing elective surgeries to resume, and California is set to reopen its beaches Monday after weekend protests.

The country’s hardest his state, New York, remains shut down.

Then there are states like the Dakotas, which never issued stay-at-home orders to begin with.

Governor Walz is expected to make a decision this week on whether or not to extend the stay-at-home order, which ends on May 4. We should learn more about Minnesota’s reopening timeline as that decision is announced.