Strategies to Slow the Spread of COVID-19 in Minnesota - Minnesota Dept. of Health

Strategies to Slow the Spread of COVID-19 in Minnesota

Updated on March 26, 2020

Below is a summary of the COVID-19 executive orders issued by Governor Tim Walz that pertain to staying at home, public accommodations, and schools. More information on Governor Walz and Lieutenant Governor Flanagan's actions to respond to this outbreak can be found at:

Stay at Home order

To protect the public's health and slow the rate of transmission of COVID-19, Governor Walz issued an executive order directing Minnesotans to stay at home and limit movements outside of their home beyond essential needs. This order takes effect at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, March 27 and ends at 5 p.m. on Friday, April 10. The Governor’s two-week order to stay home is forecasted to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and allow the state to make key preparations 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.

Essential need activities

Minnesotans may leave their homes only to perform any of the following activities:

  • Health and safety activities, such as obtaining emergency services or medical supplies.
  • Outdoor activities, such as walking, hiking, running, biking, hunting, or fishing.
  • Obtain 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 shelters if you
    are without a home.
  • Relocation to ensure safety, such as relocating to a different location if your home becomes 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.

While doing these things you should practice social distancing (keep 6 feet apart from other people as much as possible).

See #StayHomeMN Frequently Asked Questions for additional information.

Critical services

Workers who work in critical sectors during this time are exempt from the stay at home order.

Critical services include, but are not limited to:

  • Health care and public health
  • Pharmacy
  • Educators
  • Law enforcement, public safety, and first responders
  • Child care
  • Homeless shelters
  • Food and agriculture
  • News media
  • Critical manufacturing
  • Water and wastewater

More information is available from Minnesota Employment and Economic Development (DEED):
Guidance on Stay at Home Order

Public Accommodation order

The previous order closing the following places of public accommodation was extended until May 1, 2020 at 5 p.m.:

    • Restaurants, food courts, cafes, coffeehouses, and other places of public accommodation offering food or beverage for on-premises consumption, excluding institutional or in-house food cafeterias that serve residents, employees, and clients of businesses, child care facilities, hospitals, and long-term care facilities.
    • Bars, taverns, brew pubs, breweries, microbreweries, distilleries, wineries, tasting rooms, clubs, and other places of public accommodation offering alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption.
    • Hookah bars, cigar bars, and vaping lounges offering their products for on-premises consumption.
    • Theaters, cinemas, indoor and outdoor performance venues, and museums.
    • Gymnasiums, fitness centers, recreation centers, indoor sports facilities, indoor exercise facilities, exercise studios, and spas.
    • Amusement parks, arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, indoor climbing facilities, skating rinks, trampoline parks, and other similar recreational or entertainment facilities.
    • Country clubs, golf clubs, boating or yacht clubs, sports or athletic clubs, and dining clubs.

Places of public accommodation are encouraged to offer food and beverage using delivery service, window service, walk-up service, drive-through service, or drive-up service, and to use precautions in doing so to mitigate the potential transmission of COVID-19, including social distancing.

In offering food or beverage, a place of public accommodation subject to this section may permit up to five members of the public at one time in the place of public accommodation for the purpose of picking up their food or beverage orders, so long as those individuals are at least 6 feet apart from one another while on premises.

The restrictions do not apply to any of the following:

  • Places of public accommodation that offer food and beverage not for on-premises consumption, including grocery stores, markets, convenience stores, pharmacies, drug stores, and food pantries.
  • Health care facilities, child care facilities, residential care facilities, congregate care facilities, and juvenile justice facilities.
  • Crisis shelters, soup kitchens, or similar institutions.
  • Restaurants and food courts inside the secured zones of airports.

For all workplaces, it is important that employees assess themselves for symptoms regularly and go home right away if ill. All employees should practice careful and frequent hand hygiene, not touch their faces with unwashed hands, and use respiratory etiquette.

Minnesota Employment and Economic Development (DEED):
Information and Resources for Workers

Schools order

Governor Walz and Education Commissioner Mary Cathryn Ricker have announced that all Minnesota public school districts and charter schools will implement a Distance Learning Period beginning on March 30, 2020, until May 4, 2020. The pair previously announced that all Minnesota public schools closed from March 18 through March 27, 2020, to allow districts and charter schools to develop distancing learning plans, which they will now begin implementing on March 30, 2020.

Minnesota Department of Education: COVID-19 Updates

Updated Monday, 30-Mar-2020 10:30:05 CDT