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Nearly 2-dozen charged with violating 'Stay at Home' order

In many of the cases officers added the misdemeanor charge as a secondary offense to another crime.

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.

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