Minnesota will halt on-premise restaurant dining, indoors and out, starting at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, Gov. Tim Walz announced to constituents Thursday evening. The state becomes the lastest to re-suspend dining-room service in a bid to slow the spread of COVID-19, which continues to infect Americans at record highs that are routinely surpassed within a day.
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis stopped short of re-shutting interior dining areas across his state but ended indoor table service within 15 of the area’s 64 counties by raising their risk ratings. Outdoor dining can still be offered in the affected jurisdictions, which include Denver County.
On the same day, Polis announced that he will convene a special session of the state legislature to craft an aid package that would directly help restaurants, bars and their landlords weather the crisis’s near-term stretch. His office estimated the size at $220 million.
Meanwhile, Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak alerted local media that his state is poised to impose extraordinary measures to halt a near-vertical surge of new COVID cases. Those mitigation steps are widely expected to include a suspension of dine-in restaurant service.
Local media quoted Sisolak as telling them during a phone briefing that Nevadans “should expect to hear from me and our current status and decisions on the next steps very soon.” The governor himself recently tested positive for coronavirus.
Simultaneous with the news of more restaurant limitations, Pfizer aired the news that its coronavirus vaccine is even more effective than early data had indicated. The pharmaceutical giant said that the product prevented 95% of the test subjects who received a dose from developing COVID-19, and that it will ask the Food and Drug Administration to start the process in a few days of approving the medicine for widespread use. The epidemiological community usually views a vaccine that’s 65% or more effective to be a powerful protective weapon.