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Program: Stay Safe MN Order

Agency: Coronavirus 2020 - 2021

Resource Number: 67406102
Alternate name: Stay at Home Mandate

3/12/21 Update: Minnesota's Stay Safe Plan
Beginning Monday, March 15, 2021 at 12 pm, with some exceptions, some restrictions have been loosened. Visit the Minnesota COVID-19 Response Minnesota's Stay Safe Plan and/or Keeping Minnesota Safe for more information regarding specific settings and guidance overview, and more.

Stay Safe Guidance for All Business Entities:
From May 28, 2021 through June 30, 2021, or until 70% of Minnesotans aged 16 or over receive at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, all Minnesota business and places of public accommodation are required to have and implement a written COVID-19 Preparedness Plan that addresses requirements by Stay Safe MN Executive Order and applicable Stay Safe Industry Guidance. Official guidance, preparedness plan templates, sector resources and materials for all business and organizations can be found here.

Workplace Guidelines:
Workplaces should continue to allow work from home. As more Minnesotans are vaccinated, and as the end of the pandemic is near, new guidelines are recommended. Effective April 15, 2021, work from home will be strongly recommended for those who can, but not required. All employers should continue to accommodate employees who wish to work from home and must provide reasonable accommodations as required by law.

Dial Back, Minnesota 11-20-20 Executive Order Temporary Pause

Dial Back, Minnesota is a temporary pause of most social activities, in-person dining, sports and indoor fitness activity in group settings. This 4-week pause will be in place Friday, November 20 - Friday, December 18, 2020. Changes to this begin Friday, December 18, 2020 at 11:59 pm and will last through Sunday, January 10, 2021 at 11:59 pm. Visit website for an overview of the guidance.

Current 7-13-20 Emergency Executive Order Directing Minnesota to Stay Safe

Beginning on Tuesday, June 9, 2020 at 11:59 pm, Minnesotans are welcome to gather with friends and family in groups of 10 or less inside and groups of 25 or less outside with safe social distancing practices in place.

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers - General

Question: What is the Stay Safe Order?
Answer: The Stay Safe Order encourages Minnesotans to stay close to home but allows gatherings of friends and family of 10 people or less, if proper social distancing measures - like staying six feet apart and wearing a mask - are taken. The order also further opens retail stores and other Main Street businesses if they have a preparedness plan and operate at 50 percent occupancy.

Question: Why is this Stay Safe Order necessary?
Answer: The COVID-19 pandemic presents an unprecedented danger to Minnesotans. The Stay Safe Order is a slow turn on the dial to introduce more interaction between people over time. It is a cautious step forward, as everyone continues to do their part to slow the spread of the virus and continue to protect and support those most at risk and workers, who are on the frontlines of this pandemic.

Question: What is this order statewide?
Answer: Community spread of COVID-19 in Minnesota and nationwide is increasing. There are hotspots in both rural and urban communities. By limiting the size of group gatherings, and slowly turning the dial to reopen businesses, the state will limit the spread of COVID-19 in communities.

Question: How will this order be enforced?
Answer: All Minnesotans are urged to voluntarily comply with this Executive Order. The state is working with law enforcement and other authorities to support the order.

Question: is Minnesota closing its borders and declaring martial law?
Answer: No. People are free to come into Minnesota, even during this order. People coming to Minnesota from other states must follow the order. To protect neighbors, people are encouraged to stay close to home and are strongly discouraged from engaging in unnecessary travel. These measures are meant to protect Minnesotans, especially the most vulnerable neighbors.

Question: What would trigger another Stay Home Order?
Answer: Decisions will be based on the guidance of public health experts and data. Public health officials will monitor indicators such as how many tests can be administered, the number of new COVID-19 cases, hospital capacity, the rate of increase in positive tests, the share of cases where the source of infection is not known, and the rate of hospitalizations and deaths. All those factors and more will continue to be monitored and will guide future decisions.

Question: If I test positive for COVID-19, is my information shared with law enforcement?
Answer: If you test positive for COVID-19, public heath officials will contact you and ask if you agree to your address being provided to 911 dispatchers. When first responders like firefighters, emergency medical personnel, or police officers are on their way to your address, they will receive a notification from the 911 dispatcher that a person in the household has tested positive for COVID-19. Providing this information to first responders helps protect their health and safety by allowing them to take proper precautions due to a current shortage of personal protective equipment. To protect your privacy, your name and other identifying information are not shared.

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers - Activities

Question: Is it okay for me to leave my home?
Answer: Minnesotans may leave their homes. If an individual leaves their home, they should wear a mask and practice social distancing measures, including staying six feet between themselves and those around them. Individuals at heightened risk of serious COVID-19 infections are strongly urged to stay home except for necessary activities and work. People most at risk included are those:
  • 65 years or older
  • Living in a nursing home or a long-term care facilities, as defined by the Commissioner of Health
  • Any age with underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, including:
    • People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
    • People who have serious heart conditions
    • People who are immunocompromised (caused by cancer treatment, smoking, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, or prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medications)
    • People with severe obesity (body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher)
    • People with diabetes
    • People with chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis
    • People with liver disease
Question: Is it okay to gather with other people?
Answer: Gatherings of groups of 10 or fewer people (regardless of age) are permitted. Even in small groups of 10 or fewer people, Minnesotans should wear face coverings and practice social distancing, that is, keeping six fee between themselves and those around them. All gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited. Gatherings include, but are not limited to, social, civic, community, faith-based, or leisure events; sporting or athletic events; performances, concerts, conventions, fundraisers, parades, fairs, and festivals that bring together more than 10 people from more than one household. Prohibited gatherings do not include commercial activity by workers and customers of Critical and Non-Critical Businesses.

Question: What if I need to get tested for coronavirus or go to the doctor or dentist?
Answer: Individuals may receive health care, including COVID-19 testing, dental care, and other kinds of necessary medical visits. It is recommended that people call ahead to their health care provider or doctor before seeking medical treatments.

Question: Can I get my hair cut?
Answer: Barbershops and salons are open at 50 percent occupancy with additional safety measures in place

Question: Can I go to worship?
Answer: Places of worship are open. In all settings, a minimum of 6 feet of social distancing between households is required. In indoor settings, occupancy must not exceed 50 percent of the normal occupant capacity as determined by the fire marshal, with a maximum of 250 people in a single self-contained space. In outdoor settings, gatherings must not exceed 250 individuals.

Question: Can I go to a restaurant or bar?
Answer: Restaurants and bars are open for outdoor dining as long as they maintain social distancing and seating for no more than 50 patrons at a time. Indoor dining can be offered while maintaining social distancing, requiring reservations and seating no more than 50 percent occupancy. Restaurants and bars can continue to offer food for takeout or delivery.

Question: Can children go to a playground?
Answer: Like other outdoor activities, going to a playground is allowed. Families and guardians should be careful to ensure children wash hands after touching play structures and maintain six feet of space from other children as much as possible. Although the Governor's order doesn't close playgrounds, they may be closed by local authorities.

Question: Can I continue to go to sobriety support meetings, such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous?
Answer: Minnesotans in groups of 10 people or less may gather in places of worship. Even in small groups of 10 or fewer people, Minnesotans should wear face coverings and practice social distancing measures, that is, keeping six feet, between an individual and those around them. As in other settings, gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited. Minnesotans and faith-based communities should follow MDH's Guidance for Faith Based Communities. Even in small groups of 10 or fewer individuals, Minnesotans should wear face coverings and practice social distancing measures, that is, keeping six feet between themselves and those around them. Sobriety support groups are encouraged to provide virtual meetings or meetings by telephone for members who need assistance and support during this trying time.

Question: Is outdoor recreation permitted under the Stay Safe Order?
Answer: Outdoor recreation is permitted, provided it adheres to paragrah 6 of this Executive Order and the Outdoor Recreation Guidelines. This permission does not extend to charter boats, launches, or facilities that involve prohibited gatherings or people in groups or close proximity (e.g., mini golf, pools, commercial outdoor racetracks, and concert venues). Some indoor facilities associated with outdoor recreational facilities covered by must remain closed.

Question: Can I go camping under the Stay Safe Order?
Answer: Camping is allowed. Individual campsites may be made available for recreational use by members of the same household. Larger group sties may be made available for multiple household groups at reduced capacity to ensure maximum group size is not exceeded and social distancing can be maintained.

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers - Travel

Question: I'm out of state, can I return?
Answer: Yes, people may travel to return to their home or residence.

Question: Can I travel to and from my cabin?
Answer: Although the Stay Safe Order doesn't prohibit traveling to or from a cabin, the Governor strongly urges all Minnesotans to stay near their primary residences. Staying close to home helps protect neighbors from spreading COVID-19 and avoid crowding rural medical facilities. Avoiding this kind of travel makes everyone safer and healthier.

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers - Work

Question: Am I supposed to return to work?
Answer: To slow the spread of COVID-19, any Minnesotan who can work from home must do so. Workers who qualified for a Critical Sector exemption under Executive Order 20-48 may continue to work in the same way as allowed under previous executive orders. Workers for non-critical businesses can return to work when their employer has completed and implemented a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan. If there is a dispute about an employee's ability to work from home, the employer and employee are encouraged to work collaboratively to come up with a solution in light of the order's directive that all critical sector workers who can work from home must do so. If a dispute remains unresolved, employees can contact the State Emergency Operations Center hotline (651)297-1304 or (800)657-3504. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety will work with law enforcement officials to ensure compliance with the Order. The Governor's focus is on education and voluntary compliance with the Order, but the Order has the force of law and a willful (intentional) violation is a misdemeanor and a gross misdemeanor for business owners, managers, or supervisors. Businesses that fail to comply with the Order could also face civil penalties up to $25,000 per occurrence and an injunction to stp the violation.

Full Executive Order

Expired 3-25-20 Emergency Executive Order Directing Minnesotans to Stay at Home

Beginning on Friday, March 27 at 11:59 pm through 11:59 pm Sunday, May 17th, residents of Minnesota are ordered to stay at home or in their place of residence except to engage in certain activities and critical sector work.

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

Question: What is a stay at home order?
Answer: A stay at home order directs Minnesotans to limit movements outside of their home beyond essential needs. By limiting social interactions, the chance of transmission of COVID-19 is decreased and the health care sector is better prepared for increased demands.

Question: Why is this stay at home order necessary?
Answer: The COVID-19 pandemic presents an unprecedented danger to Minnesota. If Minnesota takes no action to combat the spread or fails to prepare its health care system, current modeling indicates that more than 70,000 Minnesotans could die.

Question: When is it okay to leave home?
Answer #1 3/25/20: Minnesotans may leave their homes to pick up essential items, relocate for safety reasons, or go to work if their job is deemed essential in a sector. Individuals should practice social distancing measures and keep six feet between themselves and those around them. Everyone is encouraged to stay active outside during this time, provided they practice social distancing. Suggested permissible activities during the stay at home order include:
  • Care of Others: Caring for a family member, friend or pet in another household
  • Displacement: Moving between emergency or homeless shelters if an individual is without a home
  • Essential and Interstate Travel: Returning home from outside of Minnesota
  • Health and Safety Activities: Obtaining emergency services and medical supplies
  • Necessary Supplies and Services: Getting groceries, gasoline or carry-out food
  • Outdoor Activities: Walking pets, hiking, running, biking, hunting and fishing
  • Relocation to Ensure Safety: Relocating to a different location if an individual's home has been unsafe due to domestic violence, sanitation or essential operations reasons
  • Tribal Activities & Lands: Activities by members within the boundaries of their tribal reservations
Answer #2 4/17/20: Beginning at 5 am Saturday, April 18, Minnesotans can now engage in a range of activities, including golfing, boating, fishing, hunting, and hiking, as long as they follow new outdoor recreation guidelines. These guidelines include maintaining 6-foot social distancing, avoiding crowded areas, and staying close to home.

Question: Can individuals who feel unsafe in their home, leave?
Answer: If individuals feel unsafe in their home, they should leave. In an emergency, call 9-1-1.

Question: How often should people purchase food and supplies?
Answer: Individuals and families should under their best judgment and purchase only what they need. Grocery stores and food supply chains are sufficiently stocked with enough food and essential items for everyone.

Question: What stores will remain open?
Answer: The executive order includes exemptions for workers who work at stores providing groceries and other essential supplies, so many of these stores will remain open

Question: Can individuals out of state return to Minnesota?
Answer: Yes, individuals may travel to return to their home or residence

Question: Can individuals leave their home to get tested for coronavirus or go to the doctor?
Answer: Individuals may leave their home to receive health care, including COVID-19 testing, emergency dental care and other kinds of necessary medical visits. People should call ahead to their health care provider or doctor before seeking medical treatment.

Question: What workers are exempt from the order?
Answer: Workers who provide critical care services are exempt. Exemptions are based on federal guidance from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security with some Minnesota-specific additions. This includes, but it not limited to jobs in:
  • Emergency shelters
  • Child care
  • Critical manufacturing
  • Energy
  • Food and agriculture
  • Health care and public health
  • Homeless shelters
  • Law enforcement, public safety and first responders
  • News media
  • Water and wastewater
Question: How is this order enforced?
Answer: All Minnesotans are urged to voluntarily comply with this Executive Order. The state is working with local law enforcement to support the order.

Question: Why is this order statewide?
Answer: Community spread of COVID-19 in Minnesota and nationwide is increasing. By staying at home, the spread of COVID-19 is limited in communities across the state.

Question: Is Minnesota closing its borders and declaring martial law?
Answer: No. people are free to come into Minnesota, even during this temporary stay-at-home order. These measures are meant to protect Minnesotans-especially the most vulnerable.

Additional FAQs
Full Executive Order

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Last Verified On: 12/16/2020

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