Governor Orders More Restrictions for Residents

Governor Orders More Restrictions for Residents Click to Enlarge Photo: Governor Walz's Office

(KNSI) - Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has signed Executive Order 20-20, directing Minnesotans to stay at home.

The order starts Friday, March 27th at 11:59 p.m., and will remain in place until April 10th at 5:00 p.m. He is asking people to limit their movement outside their homes to essential trips only, such as getting medical attention, buying gas, groceries, medications or restaurant takeout, traveling home from another state, and caring for a loved one or pet.

"It does not mean you cannot go out of your house," the governor says, "It means to be smart in your travels."

Essential workers are exempt from the stay at home order. Some of those essential worker fields include doctors, nurses, first responders like police and firefighters, EMTs, child care workers, news media, energy workers, grocery store employees, public utility workers, and sanitation workers. See the complete list here.

If you are going to go out, Walz urges proper social distancing.

The Governor also today 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 1st, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. and authorizing the Commissioner of Education to implement a Distance Learning Period for Minnesota's students beginning on March 30th through May 4th, 2020.

He says this will buy the state time, and extend the date for peak capacity.

Modeling released today by the Minnesota Department of Health and the University of Minnesota predicts that more than 70,000 Minnesotans could die from COVID-19 if we take no action. Based on modeling from the University of Minnesota, in a worst-case scenario, the coronavirus could kill as many as 74,000 Minnesotans.

He says it's, "too late to flatten the curve" and is asking for everyone to "buckle down" and take part in "smart mitigation" to push back the peak and keep hospital beds available.

The Governor's two-week order to stay home is forecasted to significantly slow the spread of COVID-19 and allow the state time to make key preparations for the pandemic. These preparations include building hospital capacity, increasing access to life-saving equipment like ventilators, increasing testing, planning for how to care for vulnerable populations, and assessing public health data to determine which community mitigation strategies are most effective.