Minneapolis law enforcement will uphold Governor Tim Walz’s stay at home order, aimst the COVID-19 epidemic say the city’s mayor and chief of police.
“I expect 100% compliance by Minneapolis residents and visitors with the governor’s stay at home order,” Mayor Jacob Frey said at a press conference, Friday.
“Our number one goal is trying to get voluntary compliance, but if that should fail we will use enforcement measures,” echoed Police Chief Medaria Arradondo.
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.
“This is not optional. This is not a half measure. This is a mandate, and I expect it to be followed for the sake of our great city,” Frey said.
The mayor noted that Minneapolis residents have mostly complied with the order thus far. There have been “a couple of exceptions here and there,” he said, but those individuals were “dealt with, swiftly.”
The chief of police also extended his reassurance that illegal immigrants will not be arrested during this difficult time. “We will not be questioning or demanding papers from our new immigrant community or undocumented community,” he said.
Meanwhile, Minneapolis residents have pointed out how different their city looks since Walz’s order took effect, posting pictures of empty streets and shuttered businesses.
empty streets in minneapolis downtown. pic.twitter.com/TQA0NXtEdf
— nico (@nicoites) March 28, 2020
Walz’s sweeping shutdowns of public life have not gone uncriticized.
“Our governor has just succumbed to coronavirus panic syndrome and ordered a complete economic lockdown. He claims that if he doesn’t do this, up to 74,000 lives could be lost. That is absurd,” says Kevin Roche, former general counsel of UnitedHealth Group in Minneapolis. “Our governor said up to 50 percent of people could be infected. That is not supported by any available data,” he adds.
Others posit that Minnesota’s progressive tax policies may hinder the state’s recovery from the nationwide economic slump associated with the coronavirus.
Minnesota has recorded 441 cases of coronavirus since the disease was first spotted in the state, earlier this month. 220 of those cases have recovered to the point where they no longer require isolation, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. Five of the state’s COVID-19 patients have died.