Photo: AP/ Jim Mone.
Photo: AP/ Jim Mone.
Updated: May 19, 2020 10:14 AM
Created: May 14, 2020 10:47 AM
Gov. Tim Walz has extended Minnesota's peacetime emergency declaration and lifted the 'stay at home' order, though some restrictions will remain in place.
Here's what you need to know about the updates:
What is the 'Stay Safe MN' order and when does it go into effect?
In his remarks Wednesday night, Walz said that when the current 'stay at home' order ends on May 18, it will be replaced with a new order, "Stay Safe MN," which "brings back more of the social interactions that are so important in life but that still asks Minnesotans to stay safe."
What does the 'Stay Safe MN' order advise?
Under the "Stay Safe MN" order, state leaders are advising Minnesotans to work from home if they can and to wear masks when in public places near other people. The order also contiues to advise social distancing. Additionally, Minnesotans are asked to get tested if they have COVID-19 symptoms and to stay home if they are sick.
What can Minnesotans do under the 'Stay Safe MN' order?
The "Stay Safe MN" order advises Minnesotans to continue staying close to home and limit travel to only essential trips. A main change under the new order is that Minnesotans will be able to gather with friends and family in groups of under 10 people.
Those gatherings will still require social distancing, Walz said.
Walz said the "Stay Safe MN" order is part of the slow moving of the dial in the midst of COVID-19.
"Don’t get me wrong," Walz stated. "We believe that the safest place you can be is at home, but we know we cannot continue like this forever. So we are gradually making turns on both the business and social dials in order to slowly and safely reopen society."
A slide on the state's efforts to slowly reintroduce certain aspects of daily life amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as of May 13:
What about those in long-term care facilities and those vulnerable to health complications from the virus?
In announcing the upcoming "Stay Safe MN" order, Walz said "we must do everything in our power to protect our older Minnesotans" and reiterated the importance of protecting Minnesotans who would experience increased health complications as a result of exposure to COVID-19.
Walz referenced last week's announcement of the state's five-point plan to support the state's long-term care facilities during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
That plan includes expanded testing for long-term care facility residents and staff, testing support and troubleshooting at those centers, supplying these facilities with needed personal protective equipment, ensuring adequate staffing levels, and leveraging state partnerships to provide on-site assistance.
Under the "Stay Safe MN" order, Walz is continuing to ask those who are over the age of 65 "to take extra precautions."
"We are not requiring it, but it is strongly encouraged that if you are able to stay home, continue to stay home," Walz said.
What about businesses under the 'Stay Safe MN' order?
With the ability to gather in small, socially-distanced groups, Walz said some retail businesses, such as those in malls and main street businesses, will be allowed to reopen up to 50% capacity with some guidelines and plans in place.
However, some businesses will remain closed under current restrictions. Walz said discussions on reopening those places will continue.
Walz said he's aiming for places like bars, restaurants, barber shops and salons to reopen on June 1, and that he is directing staff to develop guidelines so those places can safely reopen. Walz said that will "coincide with a significant increase in testing, tracing, and isolating the virus in the state."
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