ST. PAUL (FOX47) -- Gov. Tim Walz has issued an executive order directing Minnesotans to stay at home and limit movements to only essential needs.
The order will be effective from Friday, March 27 at 11:59 p.m. to April 10.
“We must take bold action to save the lives of Minnesotans,” Walz said in a news release. “Having served as a Command Sergeant Major in the Army National Guard, I know the importance of having a plan. While the virus will still be here when this order ends, this action will slow the spread of COVID-19 and give Minnesota time to ready for battle.”
According to the news release from Gov. Walz, Minnesotans may leave their homes only to perform any of the following activities, and while doing so, they should practice social distancing:
- 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 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 has been 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
Additionally, Walz said Minnesotans may leave to go to work if their work is in critical sectors including, but not limited to:
- Healthcare and public health
- Law enforcement, public safety, and first responders
- Emergency shelters, congregate living facilities, drop-in centers
- Child care
- Food and agriculture
- News media
- Water and wastewater
- Critical manufacturing
As of Wednesday morning, the Minnesota Department of Health confirmed 287 cases of COVID-19 in the state. MDH said 122 people who tested positive no longer need to be in isolation.
Walz also said he is ordering a continuation through May 1 at 5 p.m. of the partial closures of bars, restaurants and other public accommodations previously closed. He is also authorizing the Commissioner to Education to implement a Distance Learning Period for Minnesota's students from March 30 through May 4.