Minnesota Capitol

Minnesota Capitol. Forum News Service

ST. PAUL — Gov. Tim Walz took steps to further curtail social activity and limit the spread of the coronavirus on Wednesday, March 25 by ordering Minnesotans to stay inside their homes.

Walz made details of stay-at-home executive order public on Wednesday afternoon as cases of COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus, continue to be confirmed amid the global pandemic. Earlier in the day, the state Department of Health reported an updated case count of 287.

The order forbids Minnesotans, many of whom are already confined to their homes because of the pandemic, from venturing outside with several exceptions. A separate executive order signed Wednesday extends the closure of bars, restaurants and other types of small businesses until May 1, though food service providers will still be allowed to maintain their takeout and delivery options.

Walz also reauthorized the order for schools to go online-only so that it will remain in effect until May 4.

How long will it last?

Walz' stay-at-home order will go into effect at 5 p.m. on Friday, March 27 and expire the night of April 10. The order can be extended.

Who can still go to work?

Any Minnesotan who can work from home is encouraged to do so, according to the order's text. Exempt from the stay-at-home mandate, however, are those working in what state and federal regulators have identified as "critical sectors" for which remote work may not be feasible.

Those include:

  • Health care and public health, as well as home care and child care
  • Law enforcement, public safety and first response agencies, as well as corrections, probation and animal control agencies
  • Emergency shelters, including those for the homeless and victims of domestic violence, as well as halfway houses
  • Food and agriculture
  • News media and communications
  • Energy
  • Water and wastewater
  • Critical manufacturing
  • Transportation and logistics, including public transit, auto dealers, warehouses and truckers
  • Financial services, including banks, credit unions and insurance companies
  • Hotels, motels and building maintenance
  • Legal services
  • Laundry services
  • Animal shelters and veterinarians

Questions about critical sectors can be emailed to criticalsectors@state.mn.us.

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