As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to shutter businesses and gatherings on government orders, those in the Orono, Long Lake, Maple Plain and Minnetonka Beach area are no exception.

The Orono Independent School District will suspend classes from Wednesday, March 16 through Friday, March 27. Orono’s spring break is scheduled to continue as scheduled from Monday, March 23 through Friday, March 27. During the school closure, all activities and school-sponsored athletics are canceled until in-person class resumes. Teachers and staff are reporting to work to continue distance learning plans from March 16-17. From Wednesday, March 18 to Friday, March 20, “school is closed except to mission-critical personnel related to meeting the governor’s requirements for childcare and nutrition service,” according to Orono Schools Director of Communications Lyssa Campbell.

As part of their distance learning plan, parents and students were allowed to pick up personal items, instructional materials and devices on Tuesday, March 17.

The City of Orono closed the City Hall lobby to all visitors on Tuesday, March 17. The city will remain fully staffed during regular business hours. Visitors can get any questions answered by phone or email. A drop-off area is located at the front entrance of the city offices. The area can be used to drop off “any payments, plans or other materials for the city to apply to their accounts, permits and licenses.”

The next Orono City Council meeting is Monday, March 30 at 6 p.m. The meetings are recorded and posted online

The City of Long Lake is currently maintaining as is; however, according to city clerk Jeanette Moeller, they are maintaining awareness and are prepared to make changes.

The Long Lake Area Chamber of Commerce called off all chamber member meetings and will be re-reviewing before their April meeting.

The Long Lake Fire Department assured the community they will continue to respond to calls and “have policies in place” on their “response to emergency calls in times of infectious disease outbreaks” via Facebook. The department also asked to be “honest and accurate” while calling 911 in order to be “more efficient” in their responses.

The City of Maple Plain is not mandating any businesses or establishments to close at this time. According to city administrator Bobby Schoen, with the CDC’s recommending no public gatherings of 50 or more people, Maple Plain is discussing that recommendation with local establishments.

“I want to assure all residents that all essential services including fire, police, water, and sewer will continue no matter the future circumstances. This means that if you call 911 during an emergency situation you will have a response from our public safety. The water will be treated and is safe to drink. You will be able to flush your toilets,” Shoen said in a post on the city’s Facebook page.

“Maple Plain firefighters are equipped to help in emergencies but keep in mind that COVID-19 is a virus (no medicinal cure) and most patients should remain at home to recover. If you are concerned, please call your doctor for information prior to calling 9-1-1,” the Maple Plain Fire Department said in a post.

The Village of Minnetonka Beach posted information about COVID-19 on the city’s website as well as links for preparation, proper handwashing and other Coronavirus information. Those links can be found at

The City of Independence closed all public access to facilities on Monday, March 16 until further notice. Essential services will still be performed by the city and staff will be available by phone and email.

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