MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Gov. Tim Walz has ordered Minnesota residents to stay at home for two weeks in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 and prevent the disease from overwhelming the state's health care system.

Walz issued the order Wednesday.

It begins at 11:59 PM this Friday night (3/27), and is initially set to end at 5 PM on Friday, April 10th.

Walz had held off on issuing the order because he wanted to see data and modeling to show whether it would make enough of a difference to justify the disruptions that could last for weeks or months.

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According to the Governor's office, the following activities will still be permitted:

  1. Relocation to ensure safety. Individuals whose homes or residences are unsafe or become unsafe, including individuals who have suffered or are at risk of domestic violence or for whom the safety, sanitation or essential operations of the home or residence cannot be maintained, are allowed and urged to leave their home or residence and relocate to a safe alternative home or residence.
  2. Health and safety activities. Individuals may seek emergency services, obtain medical services, supplies, and medications, and visit a health care or dental professional or facility, or a veterinarian. Individuals may also donate blood.
  3. Outdoor activities. Individuals may engage in outdoor activities (e.g., walking, hiking, running, biking, driving for pleasure, hunting, or fishing), and may go to available public parks and other public recreation lands, consistent with remaining at least six feet apart from individuals from other households. This does not exempt public accommodations that may feature outdoor activities from closure under Executive Order 20-04 and does not permit trespass upon private property.
  4. Necessary supplies and services. Individuals may obtain food, including delivery or carry-out services, beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), and other grocery items, gasoline, supplies needed to work from home, and products needed to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of homes and residences, businesses, and personally owned vehicles, including automobiles and bicycles. Individuals may also visit and use the services of laundromats and dry cleaners.
  1. Essential intrastate and interstate travel. Individuals may travel to exempted activities and may travel to return to a home or place of residence. Individuals may also travel into and out of Minnesota.
  2. Care of others. Individuals may care for a family member, friend, or pet in another household, and may transport family members, friends, or pets as allowed by this Executive Order, including the transport of children pursuant to existing parenting time schedules or other visitation schedules pertaining to a child in need of protective services (“CHIPS”) proceeding.
  3. Displacement. Individuals without a home are exempt from the restrictions in this Executive Order, and they may move between emergency shelters, drop- in centers, and encampments. Encampments should not be subject to sweeps or disbandment by state or local governments, as such sweeps or disbandment increase the potential risk and spread of COVID-19.

Some 'essential' workers in critical sectors include:

  • Healthcare and public health.
  • Law enforcement, public safety, and first responders.
  • Food and agriculture.
  • Energy.
  • Water and wastewater.
  • Transportation and logistics.
  • Public Works.
  • Communications and information technology.
  • Other community-based government operations and essential functions.
  • + more.

You can read the full executive order, and get more details on the State of Minnesota website.