Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz extended his stay-at-home order Thursday for another two weeks, but with some modifications.
This marks the second extension of the stay-at-home order, which initially went into effect on March 27. The extended stay-at-home order was set to expire Monday, but now has been extended again until May 18.
The updated order will allow all “customer-facing retail establishments” to conduct curbside pick-up and delivery. This includes all businesses that “sell, rent, maintain, and repair goods of all kinds,” according to a summary of the revised order from the Department of Employment and Economic Development.
Companies that provide “household goods, rental services, and pet grooming services” can also conduct curbside business.
The order allows salons and barbershops to open up the retail aspects of their stores, but they still can’t begin to provide haircuts. Dining-in at bars and restaurants remains forbidden until May 18.
A previous executive order from the governor allows “non-critical” businesses that are office-based or in the industrial and manufacturing sectors to return to work. All “critical sector” workers are still exempt from the stay-at-home order.
“From building out critical hospital capacity to launching a landmark testing strategy, Minnesota has made meaningful progress in preparing for the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Walz said in a statement.
“Minnesotans have made this possible by staying home and holding down the rate of infection. But now is not the time for sudden movements. There’s more work to be done, and we need to keep this virus at a simmer, not a boil. Our action today prioritizes the safety of Minnesotans while taking cautious, strategic steps toward getting people safely back to work,” he continued.
Places of worship are required to stay closed, but Walz said they could reopen sometime in May. He claimed he was working on modifying the ban on elective surgeries, but didn’t provide any more details.
The governor also encouraged all Minnesotans to wear a manufactured or homemade mask at all times when outside their homes, though he wasn’t wearing one himself during his Thursday press briefing.
Walz’s office predicts that the revised stay-at-home order will put up to 30,000 Minnesotans back to work. All businesses that begin offering curbside services must develop and publicly post a plan for how to open safely, abide by social distancing guidelines, and ask employees to wear face masks.
“The governor is asking the right questions and looking at the right data, but I’m disappointed he’s not turning the dial further today,” said Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-Nisswa). “I think he should move further, and faster, opening businesses up again in Minnesota.”
The Governor is asking the right questions and looking at the right data, but I'm disappointed he's not turning the dial further today. I think he should move further, and faster, opening businesses up again in Minnesota. #mnleg
— Paul Gazelka (@paulgazelka) April 30, 2020
House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt (R-Crown) said the extension of the stay-at-home order “could be a devastating setback” for many small businesses “that they may not recover from.”
“Main Street businesses have been forced for weeks to remain closed while big box stores have been able to keep their doors open,” he said in a press release. “I hope the governor will move as quickly, and with as much advance notice as possible to help other businesses reopen their doors. Every day that goes by risks the permanent closure of businesses that are staples in our communities.”
Rep. Steve Drazkowski (R-Mazeppa), leader of the New House Republican Caucus, harshly criticized the governor as a “failed and misguided leader.”
“The facts speak for themselves. Minnesota is surrounded by proof that this stay-at-home order has clearly not accomplished anything beneficial and must be ended. The governor is stripping millions of Minnesotans of their God-given rights and he is blatantly crushing the economy,” he said.
“If we fail to correct our course, we will see a devastating economic depression. Food shortages have begun and deaths from suicide, domestic abuse, and drug and alcohol abuse will continue to rise if we do not make a change. No amount of government loans will be able to fix the societal destruction that has taken place,” he added.
Read the governor’s executive order here.
Watch his press conference below:
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