Governor Tim Walz announced March 25 a Stay At Home Executive Order directing Minnesotans to limit movements outside of their homes beyond essential needs from Friday, March 27 at 11:59 p.m. to Friday, April 10 at 5 p.m. According to Walz, by limiting social interactions, we decrease the transmission of COVID-19 and help ensure our health care sector can prepare for increased demands.
“We must take bold action to save the lives of Minnesotans,” said Walz. “Having served as a command sergeant major in the Army National Guard, I know the importance of having a plan. While the virus will still be here when this order ends, this action will slow the spread of COVID-19 and give Minnesota time to ready for battle.”
Modeling released by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and University of Minnesota predicts that more than 70,000 Minnesotans could die from COVID-19 if no action is taken.
The governor’s two-week order to stay home is forecasted to significantly slow the spread of COVID-19 and allow the state to better prepare for the pandemic.
These preparations include building hospital capacity, increasing access to life-saving equipment like ventilators, increasing testing, planning for how to care for vulnerable populations, and assessing public health data to determine which community mitigation strategies are most effective.
“We will work with our world-renowned health care sector, cutting-edge manufacturers, innovative business community, and strong-spirited Minnesotans across the state to tackle this virus head on,” Walz added. “These are trying times. But we are Minnesotans. We see challenges—and we tackle them. No matter how daunting the challenge; no matter how dark the times; Minnesota has always risen up—by coming together. If we unite as One Minnesota, we will save lives.”
What This Means for Minnesotans
Minnesotans may leave their home or residence only to perform any of the following activities, and while doing so, they should practice social distancing:
• Health and safety activities, such as obtaining emergency services or medical supplies
• Outdoor activities, such as walking pets, hiking, running, biking, hunting, or fishing
• Necessary Supplies and Services, such as getting groceries, gasoline, or carry-out
• Essential and interstate travel, such as returning to a home from outside this state
• Care of others, such as caring for a family member, friend, or pet in another household
• Displacement, such as moving between emergency or homeless shelters if you are without a home
• Relocation to ensure safety, such as relocating to a different location if your home is unsafe due to domestic violence, sanitation, or essential operations reasons
• Tribal activities and lands, such as activities by members within the boundaries of their tribal reservation
The Governor also announced executive orders extending the closure of bars, restaurants and other public accommodations until May 1, 2020 at 5 p.m. and authorizing the commissioner of education to implement a distance learning period for Minnesota’s students beginning March 30 through May 4, 2020.