Gov. Walz orders partial closure of bars, restaurants, other public outlets

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced Monday that bars, restaurants and other public places such as movie theaters, museums and fitness centers in Minnesota will be closed starting Tuesday in response to the coronavirus outbreak. This does not apply to grocery stores or pharmacies.

“Everything we need to do to distance from each other needs to be put into place,” Walz said. “We’re still seeing people congregating in large numbers. This is now the time, if we’re going to break this chain.”

This is an executive order that goes into effect on March 17 at 5 p.m. This does not halt take-out, drive through or delivery.

“We are at a critical point here,” Walz said. “If our hospitals can’t keep up…it becomes a really critical situation. I’m going to ask again, need folks’ cooperation. We need to stop congregating.”

He issued a second order to help support workers who will be unemployed because of this action. “Our trust fund is in solid place in order to do this,” he said. “There is a safety net that comes along with this that comes with unemployment insurance immediately.”

Walz described this as the largest influx of unemployed workers into the system in the state’s history.

Walz described grocery stores and pharmacies as “critical infrastructure” during the outbreak and reminded the public to be judicious about their purchases.

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