Govenor strongly encourages all Minnesotans to wear masks when outside the home
Gov. Tim Walz announced today that Minnesota’s stay-at-home order, that was set to expire May 3, would instead remain in place through May 18. The new extension allows for some retailers to offer curbside pickup and delivery services, effectively putting 30, 000 Minnesotans back to work.
“From building out critical hospital capacity to launching a landmark testing strategy, Minnesota has made meaningful progress in preparing for the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Gov. Walz said. “Minnesotans have made this possible by staying home and holding down the rate of infection. But now is not the time for sudden movements. There’s more work to be done, and we need to keep this virus at a simmer, not a boil. Our action today prioritizes the safety of Minnesotans while taking cautious, strategic steps toward getting people safely back to work.”
Also as part of his executive order today, Gov. Walz strongly encouraged all Minnesotans to wear a manufactured or homemade mask at all times when they leave their homes to any place where social distancing is difficult.
“Minnesotans look out for one another – we’re asking that they continue to protect their neighbors and slow the spread of this virus,” said Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan. “We must continue to stay home, practice safe social distancing, and wear cloth masks while in public so we can carefully and responsibly turn the dial toward reopening society.”
By extending the stay-at-home order, the governor said the state will: slow the spread of COVID-19 and slowly build herd immunity; protect those working on the front lines by increasing access to personal protective equipment; ensure our health system can care for all who require care; gradually allow more Minnesotans to return to work; and safely and slowly resume in-person contacts and other activities that are critical for our well-being.
Gov. Walz has faced increased pressure to open up the economy from Republican lawmakers, as well as some small business owners who questioned why some of the big box stores are open while they remain closed.
“Listening to Minnesota business and labor leaders on how to ensure the safety of workers and customers is at the core of our decision-making process,” said Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development Commissioner Steve Grove. “Today’s announcement is the right next step to help more Minnesotans safely return to work and to reopen more businesses to get our economy ramping up again.”
Starting May 4, retail businesses and other non-critical businesses that begin offering curbside pick-up must:
- Develop and publicly post a plan for how to open safely.
- Use online payment whenever possible.
- Employees and customers should wear masks and protective equipment.
- In curbside pick-up scenarios, social distancing guidelines apply. If possible, customers should not leave their vehicle.
- In delivery scenarios, items should be deposited outside a customer’s residence.
To date, the total number of coronavirus cases in Minnesota sits at 5,136 wit 343 reported deaths, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. Recently, a new statewide website was launched to provide Minnesotans with an interactive screening tool to determine if they need a test and also help find testing locations.
Stay up-to-date on the COVID-19 outbreak in Minnesota by going to the state dashboard: mn.gov/covid19.
—Information provided, in part, by the Office of Governor Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan.