Food service workers next in line to receive COVID-19 vaccine

Devin Martin
Updated: April 07, 2021 05:54 PM
Created: April 07, 2021 05:52 PM

(ABC 6 News)- As more and more vaccines become available, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz is giving restaurant and bar workers priority to get a COVID-19 vaccine. 

"These are folks that made really hard decisions. The good news is we're moving back towards that place where those meals and those gatherings can happen again," Gov. Walz said. 

As more Minnesotans roll up their sleeves to get vaccinated, state officials say, now is the time to prioritize vaccinating those who work at restaurants and bars.

"We're asking vaccine providers across the state to go into the vaccine database and pull out those who signify that they are food service workers and reaching out to them to get appointments," Steve Grove, Minnesota Employment and Economic Development commissioner said. 

Throughout the state, if you're 16 years old and older, you can have a chance at getting the vaccine, as long as the resources are there. 

Commissioner Grove says vaccine availability is there and an opportunity for food service workers to be included in the priority groups can go a long way. 

"This pathway forward for us emphasizing these workers to get vaccinated not only helps them but it helps build consumer confidence in getting more customers out into these restaurants, bars, and breweries. It will increase the revenue that they can gain and getting those jobs back that they desperately need," Commissioner Grove said. 

In Rochester is Chesters Kitchen and Bar. Half of their staff have rolled up their sleeves to receive the vaccine, but now is the time for more. 

"The faster we can all get vaccinated, the faster we can get back to business as usual. We're hopeful that now is our time and we'll get to full vaccination of our staff," Derek Jensen, Executive Chef for Chester's Kitchen & Bar said. 

Derek has high hopes for his restaurant and he thinks of these trying times like a game of football.

"We're hoping to get the restaurant back open at 100 percent. We certainly would like to get our masks off but we know we have to be patient. It feels like we're in the 20-yard line and it's first down, we just haven't scored a touchdown yet," Jensen said. 

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