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Poll: Minnesotans support stay-at-home restrictions as fear of the virus persists

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Poll: Minnesotans support stay-at-home restrictions as fear of the virus persists

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced new guidelines Wednesday for restaurants, bars, salons and barber shops starting June 1. More than two-thirds of Minnesotans say they won’t return to normal rhythms of daily life even though some social distancing restrictions have been relaxed, and many believe the worst of the coronavirus pandemic is yet to come, according to a new Star Tribune/MPR News/KARE 11 poll.

As anxiety about the virus persists, the poll also found a majority of people support the stay-at-home restrictions and business closures they lived under for nearly two months and say they were necessary to limit the spread of the virus in their communities.

In the poll of 800 registered voters — conducted May 18 through May 20 — 57% of respondents said the restrictions are the right approach to prevent the coronavirus from spreading, while 32% said they have gone too far. Only 9% said the restrictions did not go far enough. Despite partisan divisions, a majority of independents also support the restrictions.

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"The rest of them can do whatever they want, but I try and protect myself," said Gary Lenius, who lives in Two Harbors and supports the restrictions because he’s 78 and at a higher risk of severe illness if he catches the virus. Plus, he said, staying at home fits his lifestyle already. "I’m not going to go out and run around, I’m going to play it cautious and wait and see and take my time. That rocking chair fits quite well by this time."

The Mason-Dixon poll, which has a 3.5% margin of error, comes as DFL Gov. Tim Walz begins to slowly turn the […]

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