As the state continues to make progress in preparing for the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Tim Walz today extended the Stay Home Order in Minnesota until Monday, May 18. In an effort to get more Minnesotans back safely to work while the order remains in effect, the Governor announced that retail businesses and other non-critical businesses will resume operations with curbside pick-up.
“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,” Governor 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, Governor 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 Lieutenant Governor 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 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.
“Our public health workers are putting in a tremendous effort to protect people from this terrible pandemic, and Minnesotans across the state have stepped up to help by following the social distancing guidelines and slowing the spread,” Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm said. “The Governor’s extension of the stay-at-home order gives us a better chance to limit the impacts of this pandemic. It buys us more time to trace and isolate cases, and to work upstream to prevent infections from jumping into new and vulnerable groups. More time means more lives saved.”
Starting May 4, retail businesses and other non-critical businesses may begin offering curbside pick-up. This will put up to 30,000 Minnesotans back to work in a safe, coordinated way. Businesses 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.
Minnesotans should also continue to telework whenever possible, wear face masks in public, screen for symptoms and regularly check their temperature, and maintain physical distance from each other.
“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.”
In the time Minnesotans have bought by staying home, Minnesota has:
• Announced a landmark testing strategy that will allow us to complete up to 20,000 tests a day and test every symptomatic Minnesotan.
• Built hospital capacity and finalized a lease on an alternate care site to make sure that all Minnesotans who need care can receive it.
• Worked to acquire more personal protective equipment to protect our frontline workers.
The Governor’s Executive Order will have the full force and effect of law upon approval by the Executive Council.