Gov. Walz MT

In a move to to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus, Gov. Tim Walz has issued a "stay at home order" to residents of Minnesota.

The news came in a 2 p.m. press conference on Wednesday. March 25.

Effective Friday, March 27, the order directs Minnesotans to stay in their homes for the next two weeks. The order begins at midnight on Friday and runs through April 10 at 5 p.m.. 

By doing so, Walz said the time of peak infection due to the coronavius will shift by about five weeks. That will "buy time," the Governor said, to ensure that there are available hospital rooms, and more specifically, intensive care units and ventilators, available to provide care to the most serious residents stricken with the virus.

"By staying at home, we will limit the spread of COVID-19 in our communities while we build out the capacity of our healthcare system," Walz said.

Adhering to the stay at home order will help save lives, Walz said.

Walz said Minnesotans would be able to leave their homes to obtain a number of essential services that include:

  • 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

Walz also outlined which parts of the workforce designated as essential services under which employees will be able to work. That includes:

  • Health care and public health
  • Law enforcement, public safety and first responders
  • Child care
  • Food and agriculture
  • News media
  • Energy
  • Water and wastewater
  • Critical manufacturing

At the end of this story is an extensive list, culled from the Governor's executive order, of all professions exempt from the "stay at home" order.


Walz said he is proud how Minnesotans have worked to slow the virus.

You've done what was needed, you stepped up for your neighbors, you've weathered this in a manner that Minnesota has throughout the years," Walz said.

But the State must continue to its fight against the virus, he said. In announcing the order, Walz talked about a plan of attack on COVID-19.

"We need a plan of attack on how we're going to battle COVID," Walz said. 

Part of that plan is what Walz called significant mitigation, which is the 2-week stay-at-home order that the Governor said would reduce person-to-person contact by about 80 percent. That would be followed by three weeks of physical distancing, much like Minnesotans have been practicing the past 10 days.

In addition, the Governor on Wednesday issued executive orders extending the closure of bars, restaurants, and other public accommodations set forth in Executive Orders 20-04 and 20-08 until May 1, 2020 at 5 p.m. and authorizing the Commissioner of Education to implement a Distance Learning Period for Minnesota’s students beginning on March 30 through May 4.

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6. Exemptions – Critical Sectors. All workers who can work from home must do so. Workers in the following Critical Sectors, who are performing work that cannot be done at their home or residence through telework or virtual work and can be done only at a place of work outside of their home or residence, are exempted from the prohibition in paragraph 1 as set forth below. These critical services exemptions apply only to travel to and from an individual’s home or residence and place of work and an individual’s performance of work duties that cannot be done at their homes or residence. Travel may include transportation to and from child care or school settings as necessary to ensure the safe care of children. This list of Critical Sectors may be clarified, as deemed necessary by the Governor, to ensure the 

6 d.

Energy.Thiscategoryis limited to energy workers listed in the CISAGuidance.

e.

Water and wastewater.This category is limited to water andwastewaterworkers listed in the CISAGuidance, includingState Parks workers whomaintain water andwastewater infrastructure, in addition to workerswho performworkrelated to residential wells and septic tanks,and workerswhosupply bottled water orhome filtration systems in areaswhere that is a healthnecessity.

f.

Transportation and logistics.This category is limited tothetransportation and logistics workerslistedin the CISAGuidance,in addition to:

 

i.

State, county, and local government agencies and agency workers,aswell as private sectorworkers,whosupport orenable transportation functions, including engineers, dispatchers, maintenance and repairtechnicians(including workers at maintenanceand repair shops), warehouse workers, truck stop and rest area workers, and workers thatmaintain and inspect infrastructure(including those that require cross-border travel).

 

ii.

Workersengaged in roadway construction, maintenance, and utility projects.

 

iii.

Public transit workers.

 

iv.

Bicycle shops and distribution facilities.

 

v.

Automobile sales that are necessary to allow foressential travel, whenconducted by appointment, and only when CDC and MDH guidelines, including social distancing, can be met.

g.

Public Works.This category is limited topublicworks workers listed in theCISAGuidance,in addition to construction material suppliersand workersproviding services necessary to maintain construction material sources.

h.

Communications and information technology. This category is limited tocommunications and information technology workers listed in the CISAGuidance,in addition toall workers who supportnewsservicesof all kinds, including newspapers, radio, television, and otherforms of news media.

i.

Other community-based government operations and essential functions.Thiscategoryis limited tothe other community-based andgovernmentessentialfunctionslisted in the CISAGuidance, in addition to workers whosupport the following functions andservices:

 

i. Election support services and election administration workers 

ii. Housing, shelter, and homelessness-prevention staff of state and local agencies and organizations responsible for ensuring safe and stable housing, including workers from state and local agencies and organizations with responsibility for ensuring safe and stable housing; shelter outreach or drop-in center programs; financing affordable housing; and administering rent subsidies, homeless interventions, operating supports, and similar supports. This includes workers necessary to provide repairs, maintenance, and operations support to residential dwellings. 

iii. Workers performing all other governmental functions which are necessary to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of the public, to preserve the essential elements of the financial system of government, and to continue priority services as determined by a political subdivision of the State. All political subdivisions of the State will determine the minimum personnel necessary to maintain these governmental operations. 

iv. Workers supporting building code enforcement necessary to maintain public safety and health of essential infrastructure and any construction as required in response to the COVID-19 peacetime emergency including but not limited to construction of health care facilities and essential businesses and services, or construction as required for emergency repairs and safety purposes. 

j. Critical manufacturing. This category is limited to critical manufacturing workers listed in the CISA Guidance. This category includes iron ore mining and processing operations and supplier/vendor industries essential to such mining and processing operations. 

k. Hazardous materials. This category is limited to hazardous materials workers listed in the CISA Guidance. 

l. Financial services. This category includes workers at banks, credit unions, insurance companies, insurance agencies, and other financial services workers identified in the CISA Guidance. 

m. Chemical. This category is limited to chemical workers listed in the CISA Guidance. 

n. Defense industrial base. This category is limited to defense industrial base workers listed in the CISA Guidance. 

o. Tribal Governments. Tribal officers and workers deemed essential by the relevant Tribal government, regardless of residence. 

p.The Judicial Branch. This category is limited to judicial officersand personnel deemedessentialby the Chief Justice to ensure thecontinued operations of Minnesota’s court system.

q.The Executive Branch. This category is limited topersonneldeemednecessary to continue priority services ofexecutive branchagencies, offices, departments, divisions, boards, bureaus, councils, committees, institutions, authorities, and commissions, as well as,the Minnesota State Colleges andUniversities system, Minnesota State Retirement System, Public EmployeesRetirement Association,and Teacher’s Retirement Association, as determinedby the Commissioner of Management and Budget in consultation with thoseagenciesand entities.

r.Executive Constitutional Offices. This category is limited to Constitutional Officers and personnel deemed essential by the applicable ConstitutionalOfficer to ensure the continued operations of the Constitutional Office.

s.The Legislative Branch.This category is limited topersonneldeemedessential bythe presiding officers of each body. 

t.Federal Employees.Nothing in this Executive Orderwillbe construed to limit, prohibit, or restrict in any way the operations of the federal government, or themovement of federal officials inMinnesotawhile acting in their official capacity, includingfederaljudicial, legislative,and executive staffand personnel.

u.NationalGuard. This category is limited to National Guard members that areon orders, to include stateactiveduty, Title 32, or Title 10 orders and members in an InactiveDuty for Training status. At the discretion of theAdjutant General, this categoryalso includes full-time staff of the MinnesotaNational Guard or Department of Military Affairsthat are necessary for theexecution of the National Guard’s mission.

v.Faithleadersand workers.This categoryincludesofficials,workers, andleadersin houses ofworship and other placesof religious expression orfellowship, wherever their services may be needed.This category also includes workers necessary to plan, record, and distribute onlineor broadcastcontent to community members.

w.Education.Educators and other workers supporting public and privateschools, as well as higher education (e.g.,collegesand universities). Thiscategory includes educators and other workers providing care to children asprovided by ExecutiveOrder 20-19. Executive Order 20-02 remainsin effect.

x.Construction and critical trades.This category includes workers in theskilled trades such as electricians, plumbers, HVAC and elevator technicians, and other related construction of all kind. This category also includesexterminators, cleaning and janitorial staff forcommercial and governmental 

properties, moving and relocation services,

security staff, operating engineers, and all other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of homes and residences and the Critical Sectors listed in this Executive Order. y. Child care providers. This category includes workers in child care centers, family child care, schools, and other facilities. Such providers are encouraged to remain open to provide child care services for workers in the Critical Sectors listed in this Executive Order as possible and insofar as public health guidance can be followed. This category also applies to individuals providing child care for Critical Sector workers in a personal home, such as family, friend, and neighbor care required for Critical Sector workers to continue to perform their duties.

z. Hotels, residential facilities and shelters. This category includes workers supporting hotels and motels, facilities and shelters for adults, seniors, and children, including victims of domestic violence, people with developmental disabilities, intellectual disabilities, substance abuse disorders, or mental illness. Such facilities and shelters include halfway houses and residential treatment programs. This category also includes workers needed to keep apartment complex buildings and other congregate residences or homes operational and sanitary.

aa. Shelters for displaced individuals. This category is limited to workers supporting emergency shelters, drop-in centers, and encampments, as well as outreach workers. Governmental and other entities are strongly urged to make 24-hour shelter available as soon as possible, to the maximum extent practicable, and in compliance with CDC guidance.

bb. Charitable and social services organizations. This category is limited to workers supporting organizations that are engaged in hunger relief work, and those that provide food, shelter, prescription delivery, mental health and substance abuse treatments, and other social services, as well as other necessities of life for individuals in need of such services, older adults who live alone, people with disabilities, and those who need assistance as a result of this emergency.

cc. Legal services. This category is limited to workers who are necessary to provide essential legal services. Essential legal services include:

i. Advice and representation needed to aid the delivery of all critical government services.

ii. Advice and representation required to ensure the immediate and critical health, safety, and liberties of Minnesotans, including but not limited to, end-of-life planning, immigration, essential services to elders and persons with disabilities, child supports, child-protection

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and domestic abuse matters, protection of personal financial resources necessary to meet basic needs, prosecution or defense in ongoing criminal matters, or all matters in which individuals are held in custody pending a legal proceeding, and proceedings held in the district or appellate courts during the effective period of this order.

iii. Advice and representation related to the continuation of the Critical Sectors identified in this Executive Order, including ensuring compliance with this Executive Order, previous Executive Orders, and all applicable laws, rules, and regulations applying to Critical Sectors. 

iv. Supporting housing and shelter-related efforts, including loan applications, loan processing, seeking temporary relief from residential and commercial loan or lease provisions, retention of gas, electric, or water utility services, and seeking temporary relief from residential evictions or foreclosures, or other actions intended to keep people in their homes. 

dd. Notaries. This category is limited to notaries performing services that cannot be deferred and which cannot be accomplished via remote services under Minnesota Statutes 2019, section 358.645. 

ee. Critical Labor Union Functions. This category includes labor union essential activities, including the administration of health and welfare funds, and monitoring the wellbeing and safety of members providing services in the Critical Sectors. 

ff. Laundry services. This category is limited to workers who support laundromats, dry cleaners, industrial laundry services, and laundry service providers for other Critical Sectors. 

gg. Animal shelters and veterinarians. This category is limited to veterinarians and workers at animal care facilities or Department of Natural Resources workers who provide food, shelter, veterinary services, and other necessities of life for animals. Workers in this category are subject to the restrictions on elective surgeries and procedures as set forth in Executive Orders 20-09 and 20-17. 

hh. Real Estate Transactions. This category is limited to workers who facilitate and finance real estate transactions and real estate services, including appraisers and title services. 

ii. Essential Supply Stores. This category is limited to workers at businesses that sell products, tools, materials, or supplies necessary for: (1) the above Critical Sectors to continue their essential operations, (2) for workers to work from home, or (3) for the maintenance of the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of homes or residences. 

 

Editor

Jeff Hage is the managing editor of the Monticello Times. He majored in journalism at the University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire.

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