Source: Jim Hoft

On Thursday, Twin Cities Mayors Melvin Carter and Jacob Frey announced to officially lift the COVID-19 vaccine or negative test requirements for city restaurants, bars, and other public spaces effective immediately.

According to reports, COVID-19 cases and hospitalization in the Twin cities are declining.

Star Tribune reported:

Twin Cities Mayors Melvin Carter and Jacob Frey on Thursday jointly rescinded their vaccine-or-test emergency regulations for restaurants, bars and entertainment venues, effective immediately, as COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations rapidly decline.

Mask mandates for Minneapolis’ “areas of public accommodation” and St. Paul’s city-licensed businesses will stay in place for now.

“We always want to try and be as least invasive as possible when we’re coming from a public health perspective,” Minneapolis interim Health Commissioner Heidi Ritchie said in an interview. “We felt like in the areas where there were people who were eating and drinking and they couldn’t feasibly wear a mask, that vaccination was really the best way to keep everybody safe. At this point with the transmission rates dropping the way that they are, the hospitalization rates not as precarious as they were, we’re comfortable pulling that more invasive regulation backwards.”

The Twin Cities have been closely monitoring new cases, positivity rates, vaccination rates, hospital capacity and vaccine breakthrough cases since announcing the vaccine-or-test mandates last month.

“I wouldn’t go as far to say the numbers came down because we implemented this policy,” Carter said in an interview. “I think there’s a number of factors at play, of which I would suggest this is one of them. I think we’ll be able to evaluate a lot of that in the coming months.”

The latest weekly case rate, for Feb. 1-7, is about 161 per 100,000 people, according to preliminary data on Minneapolis’ COVID-19 dashboard. It is down from Jan. 21-27’s 500 per 100,000, the week after the mandate went into effect.

Over the past seven days, Ramsey County has seen a 58% drop in cases and a 38% drop in hospital admissions, according to a St. Paul news release. Statewide rates are also headed down.

Last January, Minneapolis and St. Paul joined other major Democrat-run cities to require proof of vaccination to enter restaurants, bars, theaters, and other venues.

“This is a critical next step to avoid closures,” Communist Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said at a virtual news conference with St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter. “We want to stay open, and we need to stay safer.”

Both mayors used their emergency powers to impose the vaccine passport system in their cities.

Businesses in Minneapolis sued Democrat Mayor Jacob Frey over his vaccine mandate a couple of weeks ago.

“Unfortunately when the vaccine-or-test mandate went into effect we saw a 30% drop in our Minneapolis locations overnight,” Luke Derheim, Craft and Crew Hospitality co-owner, told KTSP.