Walz to Let Stay-at-Home Order Expire, Changes to “Stay Safe” Strategy
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz said he will let his stay-at-home order expire as scheduled Monday, although he’ll leave key restrictions in place to keep up the state’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Instead, Walz has replaced the stay-at-home order with a new strategy called “Stay Safe Minnesota.” Among the things that have changed, retailers, including malls that had been deemed as non-essential, will be allowed to reopen with restrictions on how many people can be allowed inside. Social distancing plans require them to operate at 50% occupancy. Also, gatherings of 10 people or fewer, such as family celebrations, will be allowed.
Bars, restaurants, hair salons, churches, movie theaters, and health clubs will remain closed, but the Governor says they could open as early as June 1st if they meet safe opening plans devised later this month by state health officials.
For all Minnesotans, Walz asks that residents:
- Work from home if you can;
- Wear masks when you shop;
- Stay close to home;
- Gather in groups of 10 or less, and keep six feet apart;
- Get tested if you have symptoms, and stay home if you’re sick.
Reaction across the state from those urging the Governor to open more businesses was largely positive tonight. Minnesota Chamber President Doug Loon called Walz’s decision to end the stay-at-home order “welcome news for businesses throughout the state who are eager to get our economy moving again.” Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, a Republican from East Gull Lake, said he supported Walz’s decision to lift the stay-at-home order.
The Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) estimates that Walz’s new order will enable up to 37,000 more workers to safely return to work over the next several weeks.