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Posted on: March 26, 2020

Governor Walz Issues Stay at Home Order for Minnesotans

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Updated March 30, 2020.

#StayHomeMN Frequently Asked Questions

Visit the Stay Home MN FAQ page for additional information. 

  •  What is a stay at home order?

    A stay at home order directs Minnesotans to limit movements outside of their homes beyond essential needs. By limiting social interactions, we decrease the chance of transmission of COVID-19 and help our health care sector prepare for increased demands.

  •  Why is this stay at home order necessary?

    The COVID-19 pandemic presents an unprecedented danger to Minnesota. If Minnesota takes no action to combat the spread or fails to prepare our health care system, current modeling indicates that more than 70,000 of our loved ones, friends, and neighbors in Minnesota could die.

  •  When is it okay for me to leave my home?

    Minnesotans may leave their homes to pick up essential items such as groceries or food, prescriptions, and gas, to relocate for safety reasons, or go to work if their job is deemed essential in a sector. If you leave your home, practice social distancing measures and keep six feet between you and those around you. Everyone is encouraged to stay active outside during this time, provided they practice safe social distancing.

    Permissible activities during the stay at home order include:

    • Health and safety activities, such as obtaining emergency services or medical supplies
    • Outdoor activities, such as walking pets, 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 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 or homeless 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 & Lands, such as activities by members within the boundaries of their tribal reservations
    • Funerals, provided that the gathering consists of no more than 10 attendees and the space utilized allows for social distancing (six feet spacing between people). Venues should make accommodations for remote attendance, if possible, for others. Individuals who are at high risk from COVID-19 are strongly encouraged to attend remotely.

State of Minnesota COVID-19 Update  Presentation


Governor Walz Issues Stay at Home Order for Minnesotans Executive order directs Minnesotans to limit movement to slow the spread of COVID-19

March 25, 2020

[ST. PAUL, MN] – To slow the spread of COVID-19 across the state, Governor Tim Walz today signed Executive Order 20-20 directing Minnesotans to stay at home and limit movements outside of their home beyond essential needs. This order takes effect at 11:59pm on Friday, March 27 and ends at 5:00pm on Friday, April 10.

“We must take bold action to save the lives of Minnesotans,” said Governor Walz. “Having served as a Command Sergeant Major in the Army National Guard, I know the importance of having a plan. While the virus will still be here when this order ends, this action will slow the spread of COVID-19 and give Minnesota time to ready for battle.”

Modeling released today by the Minnesota Department of Health and University of Minnesota predicts that more than 70,000 Minnesotans could die from COVID-19 if we take no action. 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.

“We will work with our world-renowned health care sector, cutting-edge manufacturers, innovative business community, and strong-spirited Minnesotans across the state to tackle this virus head on,” Governor Walz continued. “These are trying times. But we are Minnesotans. We see challenges—and we tackle them. No matter how daunting the challenge; no matter how dark the times; Minnesota has always risen up—by coming together. If we unite as One Minnesota, we will save lives.”

Minnesotans may leave their residences only to perform any of the following activities, and while doing so, they should practice social distancing:

  • 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

“Our top priority is the health and safety of Minnesotans,” said Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan. “As the mom of a first-grader and the daughter of a parent with underlying health conditions, I know that the coming weeks will be difficult for many Minnesota families, but social distancing is the most important action we can take as a community to limit the spread of COVID-19 and care for each other.”

“Public health and health care workers around the state are working incredibly hard to protect Minnesotans from this outbreak, and we need all Minnesotans to do their part to slow the spread,” Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said. “These new measures will buy us much-needed time to secure additional resources and line up additional protections for our most vulnerable Minnesotans.”

Workers who work in critical sectors during this time are exempt from the stay at home order. These exemptions are based on federal guidance from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security with some Minnesota-specific additions. This includes, but is not limited to, jobs in:

  • Healthcare and public health;
  • Law enforcement, public safety, and first responders;
  • Emergency shelters, congregate living facilities, drop-in centers;
  • Child care;
  • Food and agriculture;
  • News media;
  • Energy;
  • Water and wastewater; and
  • Critical manufacturing.

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 1, 2020 at 5:00 pm and authorizing the Commissioner of Education to implement a Distance Learning Period for Minnesota’s students beginning on March 30 through May 4, 2020.

The Governor’s Executive Orders will have the full force and effect of law upon approval by the Executive Council.

Updates on the COVID-19 pandemic in Minnesota are available here. Frequently asked questions are available here.

SEOC Hotline: Answers on Governor Walz’s Executive Order

The SEOC Hotline is available to answer questions regarding Gov. Walz’s executive order. Staff from the Departments of Education and Human Services will answer calls from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The hotline number is 651-297-1304 or toll-free at 800-657-3504.

Executive Order 20-20
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