This afternoon, Governor Walz issued a statewide “stay at home” order. The order seeks to limit the spread of COVID-19 by closing the state’s non-essential businesses and directing Minnesotans to stay home and follow CDC and Minnesota Department of Health guidance on social distancing. The order goes into effect at 11:59 p.m., this Friday, March 27 and is set to last until 5 p.m., Friday, April 10.
In addition to the “stay at home” order, Governor Walz also extended the current closures for bars, restaurants, and other public accommodations under previous executive orders until May 1. Further, he issued an Executive Order extending distance learning for schools until May 4.
According to the Governor, these measures are designed to allow Minnesota to build hospital and ICU capacity and stockpile personal protective equipment (PPE) for our clinics and hospital workers. The survival rate for severe cases of COVID-19 is 10x higher when patients have the ICU care they need.
The order allows Minnesotans to leave their residences only to perform any of the following activities and while doing so they should practice social distancing: Health/safety activities, outdoor activities, purchasing necessary supplies and services like groceries and medicine, essential and interstate travel, care of others, displacement, and relocation to ensure safety. **This is not a comprehensive list.**
Workers who provide critical services are exempt to travel to their jobs. This list includes but is not limited to: Healthcare and public health; law enforcement, public safety, and first responders; child care, food, and agriculture, news media, energy, water and wastewater, critical manufacturing. Again, this is not a comprehensive list, and Minnesotans should visit https://mn.gov/deed/newscenter/covid/business-exemptions/ for additional guidance. There is also a state email address that businesses can contact if they have questions: email@example.com
Restaurants are still able to deliver and provide carry-out services.
A lot of you have questions about what this means for your business and day-to-day lives. I am including a link to the Governor's full order that explains all the details and provides answers to many of the questions you probably have. A link to the order can be found here: https://mnhouse.gop/EO_ShelterInPlace.
You can also email or call my office, and I will work to get answers to you as quickly as possible.
I understand that there is a lot of stress, confusion, and anxiety that many of you are feeling during this uncertain time. Please know that legislators at the state and federal levels are working together to provide assistance to families and businesses. Tomorrow, the state legislature will be meeting in St. Paul to pass additional COVID-19 response legislation.
Please reach out to my office if you have questions or if I can assist you in any way.
I can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at 651-296-8237.