To continue slowing the spread of COVID-19 across the state, Gov. Tim Walz today extended the Stay Home Order until May 4 and the peacetime emergency order until May 13.
“What we are doing is working, Minnesota,” said Walz. “We are taking this seriously, and we are staying home. While Minnesota is showing lower rates of infections than our peers across the country, now is not the time to let up or allow that trajectory to change. Updated federal guidance and our own public health experts are showing that if we keep staying home, we will save lives – which is why I made the data-driven decision to extend the Stay Home Order until May 4.”
The governor’s order to stay home is forecasted to significantly slow the spread of COVID-19, pushing out the peak of the disease and allowing the state to continue key preparations for the pandemic. These preparations include building new hospital capacity and buying ventilators and masks, planning for how to protect those most at risk, expanding testing and freeing up time for health care companies like the Mayo Clinic to develop treatments for the virus.
“As a mom and a daughter, I know how challenging this is for Minnesota families – but it is working,” said Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan. “These decisions are guided by the best-available data, and we are constantly responding to new information and challenges. Staying home is the best strategy we have, and it is saving lives, especially of our most vulnerable.”
Consistent with the extended Stay Home Order, Executive Order 20-33 also extends the closure of bars, restaurants, and other public accommodations through 11:59 p.m. on May 3 and outlines exemptions to the Stay Home Order, including exempted activities and critical sector workers. The governor said he would sign a bill to allow bars and restaurants to sell bottled beer and wine with takeout orders.
“We’re facing an historic public health crisis, and Minnesotans are rising to the challenge,” Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said. “The social distancing and community mitigation efforts Governor Walz implemented have secured us much-needed time to prepare more fully for the predicted peak in cases, and today’s announcement gives us a better chance to save even more lives. We are thankful for the tremendous effort and sacrifices Minnesotans are making.”
Under the extended order, Minnesotans may leave their residences only to perform activities such as relocation to ensure safety, such as relocating to a different location if your home is unsafe due to domestic violence, sanitation, or reasons related to essential operations, health and safety activities, such as obtaining emergency services or medical supplies, outdoor activities, such as walking, hiking, running, biking, hunting, or fishing, necessary supplies and services, such as getting groceries, gasoline, or carry-out, essential intrastate 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, moving or relocation, such as moving to a new home or place of residence, funerals, provided that no more than 10 attendees are gathered and strict social distancing is enforced and tribal activities and lands, such as activities by members within the boundaries of their tribal reservation.
Executive Order 20-33 also orders that all workers who can work from home must do so. Workers in critical sectors who cannot work from home are permitted to go to work.
“Our actions have saved lives, but the threat of COVID-19 remains,” said Walz. “The next stages of this pandemic are going to challenge us – an extension of Minnesota’s peacetime emergency will allow us to protect Minnesotans’ health and wellbeing and continue to respond effectively to this rapidly-evolving situation.”