‘Threading the needle’ of health and economy: Gov. Walz extends stay at home order, allows curbside service for retailers

Gov. Walz extended the closure of bars, restaurants and other places of public accommodation another two weeks until Monday, May 18, with the stay at home order also set to expire then.

Curbside service, such as pick up and delivery, will be allowed at all customer-facing retailers starting Monday. These businesses could include dry cleaning, pet grooming, and other establishments that sell, rent or maintain goods.

An estimated 30,000 Minnesotans will be able to return to work.

The next restrictions to be lifted are the ones on elective surgeries, and Gov. Walz said in his address that the announcement would come in a few days, now that the state and healthcare systems have adequately reached hospital capacity and personal protective equipment supplies.

All customer-facing retailers must have a plan on how they will protect their staff and their customers, but these plans would not need to be submitted to the state.

If the state receives a number of complaints about the establishment, Commissioner Steve Grove with the Department of Employment and Economic Development said they would have the right to request that plan.

Salons, tattoo parlors and barbershops will remain closed, but they will be allowed to open the retail aspects of their businesses for curbside service.

House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt said big box retailers have allowed customer traffic, but smaller businesses may not recover if they cannot open their doors to customers and clients.

“Main Street businesses have been forced for weeks to remain closed while big box stores have been able to keep their doors open—I know Minnesota retailers have been planning and are ready to safely serve customers in a curbside setting, but if their large competitors can be open to customer traffic, our smaller retailers should be extended the same opportunity and trust by the governor,” said Daudt.

“For thousands of other businesses, being closed until May 18 could be a devastating setback that they may not recover from. I hope the governor will move as quickly, and with as much advance notice as possible to help other businesses reopen their doors. Every day that goes by risks the permanent closure of businesses that are staples in our communities. The governor and his administration should work with any industry that remains closed and offer a clear timeline when they can expect a decision.”


Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers events and issues in north central Minnesota, which include local government, crime, courts, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University and received her degree in 2018. Larissa, native to the great state of New York, grew up in Bemidji, and enjoys spending her spare time with her family and pet cat. She also loves Star Trek, punk rock music and the theater.


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