In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, today Mayor Jacob Frey has formally requested council action to ratify a state of emergency declaration within 72 hours. Under the Minneapolis Code of Ordinances (Title 6, section 128.50 through 128.90), the declaration will grant Frey and the city the ability to respond swiftly and decisively to better protect the health and well-being of Minneapolis residents. Mayor Melvin Carter declared a local emergency in St. Paul on Sunday.
“Clarity in purpose and the ability to act decisively are vital in protecting public health and effectively responding to the evolving threats posed by COVID-19,” said Frey. “Our team will remain in constant communication with leadership in city hall and partners throughout Minnesota while we work to promote mitigation strategies, deliver core city services, and deploy resources where they are needed most.”
The local emergency may not be continued for more than three days except by or with the consent of the city council. Frey has requested the emergency declaration remains in effect as long as the State of Minnesota peacetime emergency declaration remains in effect.
Last week Frey announced that the city would suspend water shutoffs for the month ahead.
Frey is closing or limiting access to bars, restaurants, nightclubs, and coffee shops in Minneapolis and will be in close communication with state leadership on the process. Operations will be limited to delivery, takeout, and drive-thru orders. The new rule will be effective and enforceable starting at noon tomorrow.
Consistent with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the city will halt issuance of new permits for any gatherings of 50 or more people.
The mayor is also in touch with the city’s finance department, finalizing a plan for the mass purchase of additional protective gear for city staff at heightened risk of exposure. Frey has been in direct contact with the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office regarding eviction enforcement in Minneapolis. A copy of the mayor’s letter to the Hennepin County Sheriff is attached.
The local emergency declaration will also allow Minneapolis Emergency Management to request and coordinate aid and resources from jurisdictional partners.
Other executive actions made available under the local emergency declaration include:
- Executing contracts on behalf of the city to meet urgent public health needs outside of the city council’s legislative cycle
- Swiftly implementing rules and regulations to limit the number of people congregating in a location or building
- Immediately directing and supervising the administration of all city departments
- Authorizing aid and assistance under local or inter-jurisdictional response or recovery plans
The local emergency declaration does not supersede state or federal law.
The Minnesota Department of Health has set up hotlines open from 7 am to 7 pm to answer questions about COVID-19. For school or child care questions, call 651-297-1304 or 1-800-657-3504 . For health questions call 651-201-3920 or 1-800-657-3903.