Since March 13, when Governor Walz signed his first Executive Order declaring a Peacetime Emergency, he has issued a total of 20 Executive Orders to help Minnesotans cope with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and associated economic consequences. These orders range from preventing price gouging to activating the national guard, suspending evictions to helping families and businesses. The most far-ranging order was the stay-at-home order issued on March 25. The stay-at-home order issued by Gov. Tim Walz won’t necessarily bring down the number of infections. But researchers said the peak of the pandemic could be pushed back by several weeks, preserving limited health care resources while Minnesota works to get more masks, ventilators, and testing supplies.
These orders are issued to aid in the state’s efforts to stop the spread of the coronavirus in Minnesota — and to save lives — and are in accordance with federal guidelines and the CDC, which include avoiding social gatherings of 10 or more people, practicing social distancing of six feet, and employing frequent, thorough hand washing, and surface disinfecting.
The full list of Executive Orders signed by Governor Walz are available here.
Executive Order Timeline:
(Includes legislation signed into law allocating $200 million toward an emergency and long-term grant program to respond to the needs of health care and long-term care facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic)
March 25: Executive Order 20-20 directs Minnesotans to Stay at Home
March 25: Executive Order 20-19 directs the Commissioner of Education to Implement a distant learning program until May 4.
March 25: Executive Order 20-18 continues the closure of bars and restaurants until May 1
March 23: Executive Order 20-17 clarifies the application of unnecessary medical and dental procedures to veterinary surgeries and procedures.
March 23: Executive Order 20-16 directs non-hospital entities to preserve vital medical equipment for possible redistribution
March 23: Executive Order 20-15 provides immediate relief to small businesses
March 23: Executive order 20-14 Suspending Evictions
March 21: Executive order 20-13 to help address the critically low supply of PPE in Minnesota’s hospitals and health care facilities, as well as the delivery delays from the federal government’s Strategic National Stockpile. Activation of the Minnesota National Guard has already begun and is active through the duration of the COVID-19 peacetime emergency.
March 20: Executive Order 20-10 combatting price gouging. Under this order, all persons are prohibited from selling, offering to sell, or causing to sell in this state any essential consumer goods or services for an amount that represents an unconscionably excessive price.
March 20: Executive Order 20-11 securing Federal authority to continue human services programs.
March 20: Executive Order 20-12 preserving access to human services programs.
March 19: Executive Order 20-09 to delay elective surgeries and procedures in order to conserve health care resources and reduce contact between patients and providers.
March 18: Governor Walz took action to support businesses affected by COVID-19 by announcing a 30-day Sales and Use Tax grace period for businesses identified in Executive Order 20-04.
March 18: Executive Order 20-08 clarifying the types of businesses and places of public accommodation subject to closure per Executive Order 20-04. The executive order clarifies that the closure order applies to salons, barbershops, and other similar establishments.
March 17: Executive Order 20-07 providing paid leave for state employees who are not able to work for reasons related to COVID-19 and suspended the waiting period for insurance coverage for new employees.
March 17: Executive Order 20-06 to exempt vehicles and drivers providing direct assistance for emergency relief efforts in response to COVID-19 from certain regulations including provisions on weight and hours of service.
March 17: Ch. 70 S.F. 4334 into law, allocating $200 million toward an emergency and long-term grant program to respond to the needs of health care and long-term care facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
March 16: Executive Order 20-05 to strengthen Minnesota’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund and ensure that workers who are not able to work as a result of COVID-19 have benefits available. Specifically, this Executive Order waives the employer surcharge and allows the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development to pay unemployment benefits immediately, providing fast relief to employees who need it.
March 16: Executive Order 20-04 to order the temporary closure of Minnesota restaurants and bars to dine-in customers. He also ordered the temporary closure of other places of public accommodation and amusement, including theaters, museums, fitness centers, and community clubs.
March 16: Executive Order 20-03 to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Minnesota’s Veterans Homes. This executive order allows Veterans Homes to protect residents and staff by temporarily restricting visitors, reducing the risk of COVID-19 spread among residents.
March 15: Executive Order 20-02 authorizing the temporary closure of Minnesota K-12 public schools to students for school administrators and teachers to make long-term plans for the continuity of education and essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
March 13: Executive Order 20-01 declaring a peacetime emergency in Minnesota and unveiled legislative proposals to prepare for the COVID-19 pandemic.