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Governor Walz announced the next phase of the COVID-19 response

Governor Walz announced the next phase of the COVID-19 response

ST PAUL, MINNESOTA,  ~~~   May  13, 2020  (LSN)  Today, Governor Tim Walz announced the next phase of the COVID-19 response in Minnesota. Citing progress made to prepare for peak of infection, the Governor announced a measured, cautious turning of the dial toward a new normal.

With the Stay Home Executive Order set to expire on May 18, the Governor will replace it with an order continuing to encourage Minnesotans to stay close to home but allowing for gatherings of friends and family of 10 people or less. The Governor will also open retail stores and other main street businesses if they have a social distancing plan and operate at 50 percent occupancy. Additional guidance, including a template plan and checklist for businesses, is available on DEED’s website at mn.gov/deed/safework.

Minnesotans, thank you for your continued sacrifices,” Governor Walz said. “You have saved thousands of lives. You successfully pushed out the peak of this virus and bought our state time to get ready to treat those who fall ill. We know there’s no stopping the storm of COVID-19 from hitting Minnesota, but we have made great progress to prepare for it.”

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n conjunction with this announcement, the Governor signed Executive Orders to protect Minnesotans most at risk from the virus and safeguard workers. The first Executive Order strongly encourages Minnesotans at greatest risk of serious illness to continue staying home. The second Executive Order ensures workers can raise concerns regarding the safety of their work environments without fear of discrimination or retaliation. It also protects workers from loss of income if they refuse to work under unsafe or unhealthy conditions.

Following the guidance of public health officials, the Governor today announced a preliminary set of health indicators that could trigger a decision to re-impose restrictions to slow the spread of the virus. These indicators will be refined over time as we learn more about the virus and the course of the pandemic in Minnesota. They include the number of COVID-19 tests that can be conducted as well as the rate of increase in:

  • Number of new COVID-19 cases
  • Percent of COVID-19 tests that are positive
  • Percent of COVID-19 cases for which the source of infection is unknown

Minnesotans are still asked to stay close to home and limit travel to what is essential. In all cases, Minnesotans are asked not to gather in large groups. All gatherings are limited to 10 and social distancing with masks, hand-washing and other safety measures should be followed to protect each other.

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