ST PAUL, Minn. — State law enforcement officials say 23 people have been charged with violating Minnesota's stay-at-home order aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus.
In many cases, officers added the misdemeanor charge as a secondary offense to another crime. Violating an emergency order like the one issued by Gov. Tim Walz is punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000.
Walz began issuing executive orders relating to COVID-19 in mid-March, including one which told Minnesotans to stay home except to buy food and other limited reasons.
Among the nearly two-dozen charged is a Chaska man who allegedly arrived at a Roseville hotel to meet a prostitute he met online. Another involved a suspected drunken driver whose truck got stuck in a construction zone in Pine City. Authorities say that man fled on foot and tried to hide in a shed.
Walz and the Minnesota Department of Public Safety have encouraged education over enforcement of the order.