Minnesota begins 2 weeks of ‘stay at home’ as Gov. Walz’s order takes effect

Saturday was Day 1 of Minnesota’s "stay at home" order, and it’s the first time many businesses and facilities have officially been shut down.

Gov. Tim Walz signed the order on Wednesday with the intent of slowing the spread of coronavirus, and it went into effect at midnight.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said he expects "100% compliance" with the "stay at home order." More than one-third of the state’s 441 COVID-19 cases are in Hennepin County.

For the two weeks of the stay at home order, all nonessential businesses have been shut down and Minnesotans have been advised against traveling except for necessities, such as groceries, picking up medicine and getting some fresh air.

What Minnesotans need to know about Gov. Walz’s ‘stay at home’ order

Some areas along Lake Nokomis and on St. Anthony Main were virtually deserted, but in other places, joggers, pedestrians and dog-walkers were taking in the outdoors.

The "stay at home" order’s main focus is on education and slowing down the transmission of the coronavirus, but there are potential fines if the rules aren’t followed.

Concerns over congregate living

In its daily briefing on Saturday, the Minnesota Department of Health voiced concern over the senior population living in congregate care settings.

"Congregate living settings represent our highest-risk population," said Kris Ehresmann, director of the Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Prevention and Control Division at MDH. "So the fact that we’re continuing to see cases in this population has our attention. And as I indicated yesterday, we have teams in place to reach out to the facilities."

The MDH said it has found 20 outbreak situations in congregate living facilities. Half involve one staffer, eight involve residents and two involved both residents and staffers.