Minnesota Governor Tim Walz rolled out shelter in place policies and extended business shutdowns in the name of COVID-19 mitigation, Wednesday afternoon.
Effective Friday, March 27 at 11:59pm through Friday, April 10, Minnesotans will be ordered to stay in their homes unless conducting essential business– like buying groceries or obtaining medical care, according to Walz’s new executive order.
Most small businesses like restaurants, bars, barbers and other institutions which have been deemed non essential are to remain closed through May 1. These business have been closed since March 17, when Walz originally ordered them to shut down.
School will also be conducted online until May 4.
“Today here’s what I’m asking you to do Minnesota,” Walz said during his remote press conference, “we’re to limit movement outside the home beyond essential needs” for the next two weeks.
“There is no magic around a two week period,” he added. “We believe that at this point in time, as of today, that buys us enough time. We may ask or need to see what’s happening in production lines to be able to adjust that accordingly,” Walz said, suggesting that extension of the shelter in place order may be a possibility.
Wednesday marks the second time the governor has extended his business shutdowns.
Walz also doubled down on his grim predictions for rates of COVID-19 transmission. On Tuesday, he stated that up to 80% of Minnesotans may contract the virus. During his most recent update, that figure increased to 85%.
“Around 85% of people will experience mild, non-hospitalization type of symptoms… 15% of the population will require some kind of hospitalization… 5% require ICU,” he said.
The governor’s new order have not gone unopposed. Within minutes of this this new announcement, Republican Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka voiced his concern for businesses that will now be closed for at least 6 weeks.
“I share the Governor’s concerns about the safety and well-being of all Minnesotans,” Gazelka wrote. “I also have grave concerns about the Governor’s statewide Stay-at-Home order, and the consequences for the families of Minnesota when their jobs and business that provide their livelihood are lost.
Minnesota has already felt great economic effects from just one week of business shutdowns. Nearly 150,000 have been forced to seek unemployment benefits since losing their work to Walz’s closure orders, reports Twin Cities Business.
Failing to comply with Walz’s order may result in a misnomer citation, a $1,000 fine and/or 90 days in jail, reports CBS. Other states like New York and Oregon say they’ll put citizens who leave their homes for non-essential reasons in prison for 30 days.
The new executive order excludes people living on tribal lands from its restrictions.