RICHFIELD (AP) — Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz says new federal guidance allowing vaccinated people to go mask-free in many outdoor settings is a sign of progress and could help result in scaling back more COVID-19 restrictions next week.

Walz says he hopes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announcement, coupled with drop in active caseloads and new case counts, will allow an increase in capacity limits.

The COVID Tracking Project reports that over the past two weeks, the rolling average number of daily new cases in Minnesota has decreased by more than 28%.

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