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Minnesota slower to 'reopen' than other states

Some frustrated business owners are reopening without permission.

MINNEAPOLIS — A lot of small business owners bristled when they heard the state is letting Minnesota's Largest Candy Store re-open with 200 customers inside, while their small businesses have to stay closed.

"We heard the candy store was opening, and that was kind of all we needed to hear, because we sell the same kinds of foods that they do and puzzles and other things, and we figured if they can open, we should be able to open as well," said Karen Lewis, co-owner of Ficus and Fig in Burnsville.

Lewis is opening her shop Monday morning, without the state's permission, with a lot of safety measures in place.

Minnesota is taking a slower approach than some other states to open up. Also Monday -- dentists, veterinarians and elective medical procedures can begin.

Medical providers say they are prepared, while the Minnesota Nurses' Association warns they're afraid it will use up their protective equipment for treating COVID patients.

"Some of these elective surgeries, they literally are the lifeblood of these hospitals. I get it that we have to bring some back. But it can't be business as usual. Because then there won't be enough."

U of M Epidemiologist Michael Osterholm was on Meet the Press on Sunday morning emphasizing that we need to find a way to live with the virus until there is a vaccine. But he says that doesn't mean going right back to what was once our normal lives.

"We can't do that and not expect to see a major increase in cases," Osterholm said.

In the meantime, economic research company Moody's Analytics, in a Yahoo Finance article, identified Minneapolis as one of the cities best positioned to bounce back post-coronavirus, because of low population density and highly educated people.

KARE 11’s coverage of the coronavirus is rooted in Facts, not Fear. Visit kare11.com/coronavirus for comprehensive coverage, find out what you need to know about the Midwest specifically, learn more about the symptoms, and see what companies in Minnesota are hiring. Have a question? Text it to us at 763-797-7215. And get the latest coronavirus updates sent right to your inbox every morning. Subscribe to the KARE 11 Sunrise newsletter here. Help local families in need: www.kare11.com/give11.

The state of Minnesota has set up a hotline for general questions about coronavirus at 651-201-3920 or 1-800-657-3903, available 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. There is also a data portal online at mn.gov/covid19.

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