MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s going to be a quiet weekend in Minnesota as Gov. Tim Walz’s stay-at-home order goes into effect at midnight Friday.
Already, streets and businesses are quiet as Minnesotans practice social distancing to curb the spread of COVID-19. Many operations have either closed or told their employees to work from home. On top of that, school has been out across the state since last week.
But with this order coming into effect, even more change is in store.
First off, the governor says that law enforcement isn’t all too interested in giving out citations. While, technically, violations classify as a misdemeanor, police will be focused on educating anyone who’s breaking the order.
It would take an extreme kind of defiance to get the $1,000 fine or jail time.
We must take bold action to save the lives of Minnesotans. As a former Command Sergeant Major in the Army National Guard, I believe in having a plan – which is why I’m directing Minnesotans to stay at home and limit their movements to essential services. #StayHomeMN pic.twitter.com/W2TAejwnBs
— Governor Tim Walz (@GovTimWalz) March 25, 2020
To be clear: You don’t need permission to leave your house. You can still spend time outside, alone or in small groups while respecting the social distancing guidelines.
You can still go to the grocery store, the hardware store, get gas, donate blood, and buy alcohol.
Construction is still on, utility companies are still running, car repair shops and rest area stops can still operate. However, it’s a good idea to call your mechanic before assuming they’re open.
The things you can’t do will be things you’re already not doing. Bars and restaurants are takeout or delivery only. Malls and shopping centers are closed.
The only people going to work right now are those who work for an essential business, and cannot do it from home.
Walz’s stay-at-home order will go into effect as the U.S. has become the country with the most documented cases of COVID-19 on the planet, with more than 85,000.
In Minnesota alone, more than 300 people have tested positive for the disease, and two people have died.