Citizens of Edina, Minnesota, can now report their neighbors for playing sports using a state-run tipline.
The city government of Edina announced a ban on most sports via a Facebook post late Sunday night in an effort to bring citizens in line with Governor Tim Walz’s stay at home order. Violations of this new Edina policy or any other violations of the governor’s stay at home orders anywhere in the Minnesota can be reported using a state government run reporting hotline, according to Fox 9.
“Effective 8 a.m. Monday, March 30, group activities that are not in compliance with obvious physical and social distancing, such as basketball, soccer and other non-individual sports, are not allowed in Edina,” the city declared, in the name of quelling the COVID-19 pandemic.
The city issued this order in alongside a photograph of people walking in a street. “These walkers on Halifax Avenue are doing a good job of social distancing,” reads the accompanying caption. “Unfortunately, we’ve received many complaints of others who have not been following Gov. Tim Walz’s Stay at Home order this weekend,” it continues, before declaring the new restrictions on group athletics.
City Manager Scott Neal also warned citizens that compliance with Governor Walz’s stay at home order “is not optional” after noticing that some people have not followed orders to stay in their houses, reports Bring Me The News.
“Failure of Minnesotans to comply with this order will result in the metro area reaching peak caseload sooner than medical facilities are able to handle. We all need to do our part,” he added.
Edina’s crackdown comes shortly after the city of Minneapolis announced that its police force will uphold the governor’s order.
Walz placed the entire state of Minnesota under a stay at home order which as been in effect since Friday, March 27 11:59pm and will lift on Friday, April 10. Under this order, citizens are only permitted to leave their homes to conduct “essential business,” like buying groceries or obtaining medical care.
Failure to comply with Walz’s order may result in a misnomer citation, a $1,000 fine and/or 90 days in jail, reports CBS.
Not all Minnesotans are pleased with the way the state has handled the COVID-19 epidemic. State Senate Republican Majority Leader Paul Gazelka called on Walz to take down the tipline in a twitter post, Tuesday. He characterized the government’s request for citizens to police each others’ compliance as “not necessary,” saying this is “not how Minnesotans want to treat each other.”
Please take this hotline down @GovTimWalz. It’s not necessary and it’s not how Minnesotans want to treat each other. We can all show a bit of kindness to our neighbors as we manage our times and needs differently in the stay at home efforts.https://t.co/ljYttFaF9m #mnelg
— Paul Gazelka (@paulgazelka) March 31, 2020
Gazelka has also characterized other elements of the governor’s COVID-19 response as unconstitutional, and State Senator Roger Chamberlain as claimed that Walz’s actions are causing undue harm to Minnesota’s small businesses.