STATEWIDE- Minnesotans will remain sheltered at home for at least two more weeks as Gov. Tim Walz announced today (Thursday) that he was extending the stay-at-home order to combat the coronavirus to …
STATEWIDE- Minnesotans will remain sheltered at home for at least two more weeks as Gov. Tim Walz announced today (Thursday) that he was extending the stay-at-home order to combat the coronavirus to May 18.
However, between 10,000 and 15,000 retail businesses were given the green light to partially reopen Monday for curbside business.
Starting May 4, retail businesses and other non-critical businesses may begin offering curbside pick-up and delivery services. To do so they must follow these guidelines:
• Develop and publicly post a plan for how to open safely.
• Use online payment whenever possible.
• Employees and customers should wear masks and protective equipment.
• In curbside pick-up scenarios, social distancing guidelines apply. If possible, customers should not leave their vehicle.
• In delivery scenarios, items should be deposited outside a customer’s residence.
Walz said the move would put up to 30,000 people back to work.
Businesses that provide services to customers inside a store, such as salons and barbershops, still can’t offer those services, but could resume selling products curbside, Walz said.
Minnesota Retailers Association President Bruce Nustad appeared with Walz at the afternoon news conference to lend support to the governor’s move. Noting that one in four Minnesotans work in retail jobs, Nustad said, “Retail has been hit hard by COVID-19. We’re excited to see some of those employees return.”
Walz also indicated plans are moving quickly to relax the ban on elective surgeries now that the state has been able to build a stockpile of essential medical equipment and supplies to deal with any spike in COVID-19 cases.
Minnesota Chamber of Commerce President Doug Loon issued a statement echoing support for the move while also encouraging continued action to open up the economy.
“Easing Minnesota’s stay-at-home order for retailers is a step in the right direction,” said Loon. “Businesses throughout the state are preparing to fully return to work and taking steps to do so responsibly and expeditiously. We urge the governor to continue to recognize that businesses can – and have – designed plans for safe work environments and allow more businesses to return to work soon.”
While the stay-at-home order discourages people from leaving their homes for anything other than essential needs, the order allows for a variety of outdoor recreational activities, provided people are maintaining social distance and not getting together in groups.
Activities that are allowed include walking, hiking, running, biking, driving for pleasure, hunting, fishing, boating, and golfing. People are encouraged to do these activities as close to home as possible.