ST. PAUL – By deepening the social distancing practices already in place, the stay-at-home executive order issued by Gov. Walz on Wednesday will continue to drastically impact daily life in Minnesota.
The order does not, however, represent a complete shutdown of activity. Some sense of normalcy will persist during the two-week period lasting until April 10.
First of all, understand this: Grocery stores will remain open and operational, although many local stores have adjusted their hours during the pandemic. You’ll still be able to fill up your tank at the gas station, grab a prescription at Walgreens or CVS, buy supplies at the hardware store, mail a package at the post office, or drive to see family members. You can also continue to visit parks and walk or run outside, as long as you’re maintaining the six-foot social distancing recommendations. And, of course, hospitals and clinics will keep their doors open.
The executive order includes a long list of exemptions for “critical” activities, services and industries, which you can read about here.
Understandably, a lot of KARE 11 viewers still have many questions about what the order means for their lives, their jobs and their families. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions:
Are daycare providers exempt from the stay-at-home order?
Yes. The order devotes an entire section to “child care providers,” but it’s important to note that some child care facilities have voluntarily closed in recent days (in part due to financial issues with dwindling attendance). You’ll need to check with your local providers to see how they’re faring and whether they are remaining viable. The governor’s order, however, states that providers are “encouraged to remain open.”
Are liquor stores open?
Yes, they are still open.
What about realtors?
If you’re involved in the housing market right now, the order includes “real estate transactions” in the exemption section. However, during the pandemic, the industry has shifted to virtual tours instead of in-person visits or open houses.
Are laundromats going to stay open?
How does this impact restaurant take-out and delivery?
Short answer: It doesn’t. The order does not restrict take-out or delivery whatsoever. In fact, many state leaders continue to encourage people to order take-out and delivery from local restaurants and eateries as a way to stimulate the economy during tough times. However, dine-in bars and restaurants will remain closed at least through April, per Gov. Walz’s announcement on Wednesday.
Can I still go to the dry cleaners?
Yes, dry cleaning services are specifically included in the exemptions.
What if I need to get my car or bike fixed?
You can still do this, too. Mechanics are allowed to stay open during the stay-at-home order.
Does this mean I can’t drive?
No. You can still use the roads for travel and you can still leave or enter Minnesota freely.