Today, Governor Tim Walz signed Executive Order 20-35 extending the peacetime emergency in Minnesota for 30 days.
“Our actions have saved lives, but the threat of COVID-19 remains,” said Governor Walz. “The next stages of this pandemic are going to challenge us – an extension of Minnesota’s peacetime emergency will allow us to protect Minnesotans’ health and wellbeing and continue to respond effectively to this rapidly-evolving situation.”
Governor Walz declared a peacetime emergency to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic on March 13, 2020. On March 15, Minnesota detected the first confirmed cases caused by “community spread”—infections not epidemiologically linked to overseas travel. By March 17, all 50 states had reported a confirmed case of COVID-19. And on March 21, the Minnesota Department of Health announced the first confirmed fatality due to COVID-19 in Minnesota.
Since the Governor declared a peacetime emergency, Minnesota has taken strong steps to respond to and provide relief for COVID-19: closure of schools and implementation of a distance learning period; enhanced protections for veterans in our veterans homes; activation of the National Guard to assist in relief efforts; measures to preserve personal protective equipment; temporary closure of bars, restaurants, and other places of public accommodation; efforts to provide economic relief and stability to those impacted by the pandemic; regulatory changes allowing our state agencies and licensing boards to ensure fast relief to Minnesotans; and an order directing Minnesotans to stay at home to slow the spread of the virus. Today’s extension of the peacetime emergency is necessary for many of these measures to continue.
This extension of the peacetime emergency is effective today through May 13, 2020, and the Governor will seek the Executive Council’s approval of the extension this afternoon.