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Our opinion: Lifting stay-at-home a positive step, but more to do still

On Wednesday night, Gov. Tim Walz announced that on Sunday night, the stay-at-home order would be allowed to expire, indicating a positive, yet tentative, step forward.

While several restrictions will remain, including gatherings of only 10 this gives the green light to some retail businesses to open in a limited capacity.

These businesses and their employers need to work. Since the coronavirus began sweeping across the nation, the economy, especially small businesses, have been decimated and it will be quite some time before those businesses will be able to fully recover.

Nobody has been happy with the strict limitations Minnesotans have had to live under these last few weeks. Contained inside, forcing education to a distance learning platform and in general making life difficult.

It’s why we applaud this limited opening of the state and hope this is the first of more steps forward, not backward.

And that’s the key — not taking steps backward.

“This is either going to work or not work,” Walz said. “People are either going to stay out of the hospital or get in it.”

A major component of making sure this works is for people to continue using common sense. This gradual lifting is not a reason for people to start going anywhere they please and discarding those safety protocols currently in place, including the wearing of masks, social distancing of six feet or more and keeping up good hygiene.

If we simply go back to business as usual, without regard for what we have gone through, then we run the high risk of simply returning to where we’ve been — closed off.

According to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center (https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/), there have been 4,483,864 reported cases as of Friday around the world with 303,825 deaths globally.

In the US ,we are well over 80,000 deaths and steaming toward 90,000. This is a shocking loss of life in a relatively short time.

We agree the economy needs to get moving again, but there needs to be an ordered process to it and part of that is for people to keep doing the things needed to keep COVID-19’s impact dulled as much as possible.

Online: For more information on who businesses can get back to work safely, visit: https://mn.gov/deed/newscenter/covid/safework/