MN Government Updates 04.30

Walz Extends Stay Home Order Until May 18

As the state continues to make progress in preparing for the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Tim Walz today extended the Stay Home Order in Minnesota until Monday, May 18. In an effort to get more Minnesotans back safely to work while the order remains in effect, the Governor announced that retail businesses and other non-critical businesses will resume operations with curbside pick-up.

Also as part of his Executive Order today, Governor Walz strongly encouraged all Minnesotans to wear a manufactured or homemade mask at all times when they leave their homes to any place where social distancing is difficult.

By extending the Stay Home Order, the Governor said the state will: slow the spread of COVID-19 and slowly build herd immunity; protect those working on the front lines by increasing access to personal protective equipment; ensure our health system can care for all who require care; gradually allow more Minnesotans to return to work; and safely and slowly resume in-person contacts and other activities that are critical for our well-being.

Starting May 4, retail businesses and other non-critical businesses may begin offering curbside pick-up. This will put up to 30,000 Minnesotans back to work in a safe, coordinated way. Businesses must:

  • Develop and publicly post a plan for how to open safely.
  • Use online payment whenever possible.
  • Employees and customers should wear masks and protective equipment.
  • In curbside pick-up scenarios, social distancing guidelines apply. If possible, customers should not leave their vehicle.
  • In delivery scenarios, items should be deposited outside a customer’s residence.

Minnesotans should also continue to telework whenever possible, wear face masks in public, screen for symptoms and regularly check their temperature, and maintain physical distance from each other.

In the time Minnesotans have bought by staying home, Minnesota has:

  • Announced a landmark testing strategy that will allow us to complete up to 20,000 tests a day and test every symptomatic Minnesotan.
  • Built hospital capacity and finalized a lease on an alternate care site to make sure that all Minnesotans who need care can receive it.
  • Worked to acquire more personal protective equipment to protect our frontline workers.

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

Walz Press Briefing

This afternoon, Governor Walz and administration officials held a press conference with reporters to update the public on state efforts to combat COVID-19 and further explain the governor’s executive order.

Governor Tim Walz

  • Governor Walz outlined Executive Order 20-48 asking Minnesotans to continue staying home.
  • The governor’s executive order also allows for retail businesses to reopen operations beginning Monday, May 4, for curbside pick-up and delivery – putting 30,000 Minnesotans back to work.
  • He also said that his administration is looking to revise the current ban on elective surgery. The Walz Administration will continue to work with hospitals and other healthcare professionals on how to modify the executive order accordingly and hopes to have an announcement in the coming days on that front.
  • When asked if weddings in late May or June would be possible, the governor responded, “Potentially.”
  • When asked if summer camps could open, the governor responded he hasn’t made a permanent decision and that “the situation is evolving so quickly it behooves us to look at this in small chunks” and suggested he would make a determination in two weeks.

Commissioner Jan Malcom, Department of Health

  • Commissioner Malcolm announced 492 more cases of laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 – brining the state total to 5,136 cases.
  • The state has seen 24 more deaths – bringing the total to 343 fatalities due to COVID-19. 22 of the 24 deaths were associated with residents in long-term care facilities.
  • Currently, there are 365 patients hospitalized with 130 of those in the ICU.
  • The commissioner also announced there has been a steady increase in testing. 3,300 tests were conducted yesterday.

Commissioner Steve Grove, Department of Employment and Economic Development

  • Commissioner Grove outlined the process for retailers to do curbside pickup and delivery. He said he hopes that opening up stores for customers to enter will be part of the next phased-in approach.
  • While barbershops and salons cannot be open to provide services, they can be open to sell products to customers.
  • The number of unemployment insurance applications is now at 584,431 since March 16.

House, Senate Meet in Session

Today, the House and Senate both met in their respective chambers for floor sessions. The House met briefly while the Senate passed three bills.

  • Senate File 3483, authored by Senator Roger Chamberlain (R-Lino Lakes), provides $330 million in tax and economic relief for individuals, small businesses, charities, and school districts. The bill passed 40-27.
  • Senate File 4073, authored by Senator Roger Chamberlain (R-Lino Lakes), compels companies to stop using trichloroethylene (TCE), a toxic chemical some companies use during their manufacturing process, and switch to safer alternatives. Under this legislation, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is empowered to grant exemptions in limited circumstances. The bill passed 66-1.
  • Senate File 3020, authored by Senator Mark Koran (R-North Branch), allows the city of North Branch to increase the membership of the city’s public utilities commission from three members to five members. The bill passed 67-0.

Both the House and Senate will convene floor sessions on Monday.

Amos A. Briggs | Government Relations
100 Washington Avenue S | Suite 2200 | Minneapolis MN  55401

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