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United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Minnesota Emergency Executive Order 20-56 Final Extended

STATE OF MINNESOTA
Executive Department

Governor Tim Walz

Emergency Executive Order 20-56
Safely Reopening Minnesota’s Economy and Ensuring
Safe Non-Work Activities during the COVID-19 Peacetime Emergency

I, Tim Walz, Governor of the State of Minnesota, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and applicable statutes, issue the following Executive Order:

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to present an unprecedented and rapidly evolving challenge to our State. Since the World Health Organization (“WHO”) characterized the COVID-19 outbreak as a pandemic on March 11, 2020, confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Minnesota have rapidly increased. On March 15, 2020, Minnesota detected the first confirmed cases caused by “community spread”—infections not epidemiologically linked to overseas travel. By March 17, 2020, all fifty states had reported a confirmed case of COVID-19, and on March 21, 2020, the Minnesota Department of Health (“MDH”) announced the first confirmed fatality due to COVID-19 in Minnesota.

Minnesota has taken proactive steps to ensure that we are ahead of the curve on COVID-19 prevention and response. On March 13, 2020, I issued Executive Order 20-01 and declared a peacetime emergency because this pandemic, an act of nature, threatens the lives of Minnesotans, and local resources are inadequate to address the threat. After notifying the Legislature, on April 13, 2020 and again on May 13, 2020, I issued Executive Orders extending the peacetime emergency declared in Executive Order 20-01.

The need to slow the spread of the virus required the closure of certain non-critical businesses in our economy. Consistent with national trends, over 650,000 Minnesotans have applied for unemployment insurance since March 16, 2020. In Executive Order 20-33, seeking to balance public health needs and economic considerations, I directed the Commissioners of Health, Employment and Economic Development, and Labor and Industry to begin planning to allow more Minnesota workers to return to work when it is safe to do so. I explained that such a plan must include guidelines and requirements for appropriate social distancing, hygiene, and public health best practices. Executive Order 20-38 expanded exemptions related to outdoor recreational activities and facilities. Executive Orders 20-40 and 20-48 allowed for certain non- critical businesses to reopen after they had planned for and provided a safe work environment.

In light of our increased preparedness to treat those most vulnerable to COVID-19 and mitigate these ongoing economic impacts, this Executive Order continues our plan to safely reopen our economy by allowing even more non-critical businesses to reopen, provided that they follow guidance from MDH, the Department of Employment and Economic Development (“DEED”), and the Department of Labor and Industry (“DLI”). In particular, such businesses must ensure compliance with the Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1973, Minnesota Statutes 2019, Chapter 182 (“Minnesota OSHA Standards”), in addition to guidelines related to COVID- 19 set forth by MDH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“MDH and CDC Guidelines”).

Despite the progress we have made since declaring the COVID-19 peacetime emergency, certain establishments—including those in which people gather and linger, those with communal facilities, and those in which close physical contact is expected—continue to pose a public health risk. We must continue to carefully consider and prepare for the reopening of such businesses.

Likewise, certain non-work activities outside of the home are conducive to social distancing and hygiene, while others raise significant public health risks. Large social and other gatherings of people for extended time periods raise the risk of COVID-19 transmission from household to household. The risks of such transmission are diminished in transitory settings, such as retail establishments, where individual interactions and contact are more limited in duration.

In Minnesota Statutes 2019, section 12.02, the Minnesota Legislature conferred upon the Governor emergency powers “in order to (1) ensure that preparations of this state will be adequate to deal with disasters, (2) generally protect the public peace, health, and safety, and (3) preserve the lives and property of the people of the state.” Pursuant to Minnesota Statutes 2019, section 12.21, subdivision 1, the Governor has general authority to control the state’s emergency management as well as carry out the provisions of Minnesota’s Emergency Management Act.

Minnesota Statutes 2019, section 12.21, subdivision 3(7), authorizes the Governor to cooperate with federal and state agencies in “matters pertaining to the emergency management of the state and nation.” This includes “the direction or control of . . . the conduct of persons in the state, including entrance or exit from any stricken or threatened public place, occupancy of facilities, and . . . public meetings or gatherings.” Pursuant to subdivision 3 of that same section, the Governor may “make, amend, and rescind the necessary orders and rules to carry out the provisions” of Minnesota Statutes 2019, Chapter 12. When approved by the Executive Council and filed in the Office of the Secretary of State, such orders and rules have the force and effect of law during the peacetime emergency. Any inconsistent rules or ordinances of any agency or political subdivision of the state are suspended during the pendency of the emergency

For these reasons, I order as follows:

  1. Executive Order 20-48 is rescinded as of Sunday, May 17, 2020 at 11:59 pm.
  2. Paragraphs 6 through 8 of this Executive Order are effective as of Sunday, May 17, 2020 at 11:59 pm and remain in effect through Sunday, May 31, 2020 at 11:59 pm.
  3. Masks and face coverings strongly encouraged. I strongly encourage all Minnesotans to wear a manufactured or homemade cloth face covering when they leave their homes and travel to any public setting where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) and to follow face covering guidelines issued by MDH and the CDC until this Executive Order is rescinded. Such face masks and coverings are for source control (to help limit the person wearing the covering from infecting others). They are not yet known to be protective of the wearer and therefore are not personal protective equipment.
  1. At-risk persons. All persons currently living within the State of Minnesota who are at risk of severe illness from COVID-19, as defined by Executive Order 20-55, are strongly urged to stay at home or in their place of residence and follow the provisions of Executive Order 20-55.
  2. Definitions.
    1. “Home” and “homes” and “residence” and “residences” are broadly defined to include mobile homes, hotels, motels, shared rental units, shelters, and similar facilities, to the extent they are used for lodging.
    2. “Worker” and “workers” are broadly defined to include owners, proprietors, employees, contractors, vendors, volunteers, and interns
    3. “Business” and “businesses” are broadly defined to include entities that employ or engage workers, including private-sector entities, public-sector entities, non-profit entities, and state, county, and local governments.
    4. “Critical Businesses” are all businesses whose workers qualified for a Critical Sector exemption under paragraph 6 of Executive Order 20-48.
    5. “Non-Critical Businesses” are all businesses that are not Critical Businesses and are not closed under Executive Orders 20-04, as amended by Executive Orders 20-08 and 20-18.
  1. Activities outside of the home. Mindful that we must continue to limit social interactions to protect public health, individuals may leave their homes for activities, subject to the requirements and guidelines set forth below. These requirements may be clarified, as deemed necessary by the Governor, to ensure the health, safety, and security of all Minnesotans. Clarifications will be available for public review at the State’s COVID-19 website (https://mn.gov/covid19/).
    1. Guidelines. Individuals engaging in activities outside of the home must follow the requirements of this Executive Order and MDH and CDC Guidelines. Individuals engaging in outdoor activities must follow the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (“DNR”) and MDH guidelines on outdoor recreation and guidelines for facilities and the public (“Outdoor Recreation Guidelines”) available at DNR’s website (https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/covid-19.html).
    2. Unnecessary travel strongly discouraged. Consistent with federal guidance and to protect our neighbors, Minnesotans are encouraged to stay close to home and are strongly discouraged from engaging in unnecessary travel.
    3. Gatherings. All gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited. Gatherings are groups of individuals, who are not members of the same household, congregated together for a common or coordinated social, civic, community, faith-based, leisure, or recreational purpose—even if social distancing can be maintained. This prohibition includes planned and spontaneous gatherings, public and private gatherings, and indoor and outdoor gatherings. Examples of prohibited gatherings include, but are not limited to, social, civic, community, faith-based, or leisure events, sporting or athletic events, performances, concerts, conventions, fundraisers, parades, fairs, and festivals that bring together more than 10 people from more than one household. Prohibited gatherings do not include commercial activity by workers and customers of Critical and Non-Critical Businesses.
    4. Legislative and other governmental meetings. The limits on gatherings in this Executive Order do not apply to legislative and other governmental meetings. Remote meetings are strongly encouraged whenever possible.
    5. The Judicial Branch. The limits on gatherings in this Executive Order do not apply to proceedings held by the Minnesota Judicial Branch. Proceedings held by the Judicial Branch are subject to the policies established by the chief justice and will occur as directed by court order. Individuals may appear as directed by a Minnesota state court, including to serve as a juror, appear as a party, as a witness, or as legal counsel on behalf of a party, or otherwise to comply as directed by a court order, subpoena, or summons.
    6. Federal activities. Nothing in this Executive Order will be construed to limit, prohibit, or restrict in any way the operations of the federal government or the movement of federal officials in Minnesota while acting in their official capacity, including federal judicial, legislative, and executive staff and personnel.
    7. Drive-in gatherings. To enable safe congregation of more than 10 people, drive-in gatherings are permitted, provided that all participants remain within their own vehicles and follow guidelines provided by MDH and available at MDH’s website (https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/).
    8. Tribal Activities and Lands.
      1. Activities by tribal members within the boundaries of their tribal reservations are exempt from the restrictions in this Executive Order but may be subject to restrictions by tribal authorities.
      2. Activities within the boundaries of federal land held in trust for one of the 11 Minnesota Tribal Nations are exempt from the restrictions in this Executive Order but may be subject to restrictions by tribal authorities.
      3. Activities by tribal members to exercise their federal treaty rights within the boundaries of their treaty territory (also known as “ceded territory”) are exempt from the restrictions in this Executive Order but may be subject to restrictions by applicable tribal authorities.
      4. Tribal members may travel to and from their tribal reservations in accordance with applicable tribal law.
    1. Workers and businesses. Workers and businesses are subject to the requirements set forth below.
      1. Extension of temporary closure of bars, restaurants, and other places of public accommodation. The closure of bars, restaurants, and other public accommodations set forth in Executive Order 20-04, as amended by Executive Orders 20-08 and 20-18, is extended until May 31, 2020 at 11:59 pm. Barbershops and salons may continue to conduct retail product sales in accordance with the requirements for Non-Critical Businesses set forth below.
      2. Plan to reopen bars, restaurants, and other places of public accommodation. The Commissioners of Health, Employment and Economic Development, and Labor and Industry are directed to develop a phased plan to achieve the limited and safe reopening of bars, restaurants, and other places of public accommodation beginning on June 1, 2020. This plan will be ready for presentation to the public no later than May 20, 2020.
      3. Continue to work from home whenever possible. Any worker who can work from home must do so.
      4. Critical Businesses. Businesses whose workers qualified for a Critical Sector exemption under paragraph 6 of Executive Order 20-48 may continue to operate in the same manner as provided in Executive Order 20-48. Child care businesses and youth programming. Child care providers and other businesses providing care and programming to children and youth of Critical Businesses, including workers in child care centers, family child care, certified centers, youth summer programming (including day camps but not overnight camps), and other activities and facilities, are Critical Businesses. These businesses are encouraged to prioritize enrollment for workers in Critical Businesses according to guidance provided by the Children’s Cabinet and other agencies. This category continues to include workers in a personal home, such as family, friend, and neighbor care necessary for workers to continue to perform their duties. These settings must adhere to MDH and CDC Guidelines.
      5. Non-Critical Businesses. If it has not done so already, a Non-Critical Business choosing to open or remain open must establish and implement a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan (“Plan”). Each Plan must provide for the business’s implementation of Minnesota OSHA Standards and MDH and CDC Guidelines in their workplaces. These requirements are set forth in guidance published by DEED and DLI (“Plan Guidance”) available on DEED’s website (https://mn.gov/deed/safework/).
        1. Required Plan content. As set forth in the Plan Guidance, at a minimum, each Plan must adequately address the following areas:
        2. Require work from home whenever possible. All Plans must ensure that all workers who can work from home continue to do so.
        3. Ensure that sick workers stay home. All Plans must establish policies and procedures, including health screenings, that prevent sick workers from entering the workplace.
        4. Social distancing. All Plans must establish social distancing policies and procedures.
        5. Worker hygiene and source control. All Plans must establish hygiene and source control policies for workers.
        6. Cleaning, disinfection, and ventilation protocols. All Plans must establish cleaning, disinfection, and ventilation protocols for areas within the workplace.

    ii. Customer facing businesses. All Non-Critical Businesses that are customer facing (i.e., businesses that have in-person customer interactions) must include additional Plan provisions to keep the public and workers safe as set forth in the Plan Guidance available on DEED’s website (https://mn.gov/deed/safework/). This includes requirements that workers and customers must maintain physical distancing of 6 feet and that store occupancy must not exceed 50 percent of the normal occupant capacity as determined by the fire marshal. In customer facing businesses that share common areas, such as malls, all Plans must similarly include a facility occupancy that must not exceed 50 percent of the normal occupant capacity as determined by the fire marshal and provide an enhanced sanitizing, cleaning, and disinfecting regimen consistent with Minnesota OSHA Standards and MDH and CDC Guidelines for those common areas. All Plans must also include signage in common areas to discourage gathering.

    1. Household services businesses. All Non-Critical Businesses that provide household services (e.g., housecleaning, maid services, and piano tuners) must also develop Plan provisions intended to keep customers and workers safe as set forth in the Plan Guidance available on DEED’s website (https://mn.gov/deed/safework/).
    2. Optional template. A template COVID-19 Preparedness Plan, which covers the above requirements, is available as part of the Plan Guidance, available on DEED’s website (https://mn.gov/deed/safework/).
    3. Certification and signature. Senior management responsible for implementing the Plan must sign and certify the Plan, affirming their commitment to implement and follow the Plan.
    4. Dissemination and posting. Each Non-Critical Business must provide its Plan, in writing, to all workers, and the Plan must be posted at all of the business’s workplaces in locations that will allow for the Plan to be readily reviewed by all workers. Where physical posting is impracticable, the Plan can be posted electronically, provided that the Plan is received by all workers and remains available for their review.
    5. Training. Each Non-Critical Business must ensure that training is provided to workers on the contents of its Plan and required procedures, so that all workers understand and are able to perform the precautions necessary to protect themselves and their co-workers. This training should be easy to understand and available in the appropriate language and literacy level for all workers. Businesses should also take steps to supervise workers and ensure that workers understand and adhere to necessary precautions to prevent COVID-19 transmission. Documentation demonstrating compliance with this training requirement must be maintained and made available to regulatory authorities and public safety officers, including DLI, upon request.
    6. Compliance. Employees and management must work together to ensure compliance with the Plan, implement all protocols, policies, and procedures, and create a safe and healthy work environment.
    7. Availability to regulatory authorities and public safety officers. Non-Critical Businesses do not need to submit their Plans for preapproval. Upon request, Non-Critical Businesses must make their Plans available to regulatory authorities and public safety officers, including DLI.
    8. In the event of a complaint or dispute related to a Non-Critical Business’s Plan, DLI is authorized to determine whether the Plan adequately implements Minnesota OSHA Standards and MDH and CDC Guidelines in its workplaces.
    9. Executive Order 20-54 remains in full force and effect. All work must be conducted in a manner that adheres to Minnesota OSHA Standards and MDH and CDC Guidelines, including social distancing and hygiene practices. Under existing law and authority, DLI may issue citations, civil penalties, or closure orders to places of employment with unsafe or unhealthy conditions, and DLI may penalize businesses that retaliate against employees who raise safety and health concerns.
    10. Outdoor recreational activities and associated facilities. Notwithstanding Executive Orders 20-04, 20-08, and 20-18, the below facilities are permitted to be open and do business, provided that they adhere to paragraph 6 of this Executive Order and the Outdoor Recreation Guidelines available at DNR’s website (https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/covid-19.html). This permission does not extend to charter boats, launches, or facilities that involve prohibited gatherings or people in groups or close proximity (e.g., mini golf, pools, commercial outdoor racetracks, and concert venues). Indoor facilities associated with outdoor recreational facilities covered by Executive Orders 20-04, 20-08, and 20-18, must comply with those Executive Orders, and all indoor facilities associated with outdoor recreational facilities must also conform with the provisions of paragraph 7 of this Executive Order. I encourage public outdoor recreational facilities be open for families and children, and direct all individuals utilizing such facilities to follow the Outdoor Recreation Guidelines. All outdoor recreational activities and facilities must comply with Minnesota law, including but not limited to license and permit requirements, invasive species regulations, and park rules.
      1. Minnesota State Parks, Trails, State Forests, State Recreation Areas, Wildlife Management Areas, Scientific and Natural Areas, and other State managed recreational lands.
      2. Locally, regionally, and privately managed parks and trails.
      3. State, regional, or local public water accesses.
      4. Public and private marinas and docks that provide storage, docking, and mooring services to slip owners, seasonal renters, and the general public, as well as facilities thatprovide safety-related services including fueling, emergency dockage, and sanitary pump-out stations.
      5. Public and private golf courses and outdoor driving ranges.
      6. Ski areas.
      7. Off-highway vehicles, snowmobiles, and watercraft repair shops, sales facilities, and showrooms.
      8. Lake service providers to install, repair, and remove docks, boatlifts, and other water related equipment or deliver boats.
      9. Bait and tackle shops.
      10. Outdoor shooting ranges and game farms.
      11. Outdoor recreational equipment rental outlets. Equipment may be rented but only if the equipment can be effectively sanitized between uses. Such outlets must implement clear check-in and check-out procedures that minimize contact between customers and workers. Any rentals must be conducted in accordance with the Outdoor Recreation Guidelines.
      12. Dispersed and remote camping sites for single household use. A dispersed campsite is a single campsite, not in a developed campground, used for overnight camping. A remote campsite is a designated backpack or watercraft campsite, not in a developed campground, used for overnight camping. Both private and public developed campgrounds remain closed to recreational camping.
      13. Outdoor tournaments, competitions, practices, and sports that allow for social distance, do not require group gatherings prohibited by paragraph 6.c, and that adhere to the Outdoor Recreation Guidelines.
      14. Small one-on-one or one-on-two person guided and instructional activities such as guided fishing, birding, or outdoor fitness training. Guided and instructional activities must be conducted in accordance with the Outdoor Recreation Guidelines.
      15. Any other outdoor recreation activities and facilities that may be designated in the Outdoor Recreation Guidelines.
    1. Minnesotans must respect the efforts of employers or businesses to protect the safety of their workers and customers by complying with those businesses’ social distancing and hygiene instructions. Employers must post social distancing and hygiene instructions at entrances and in locations that can be easily seen by customers and visitors.
    2. I urge all Minnesotans to voluntarily comply with this Executive Order. Pursuant to Minnesota Statutes 2019, section 12.45, an individual who willfully violates this Executive Order is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction must be punished by a fine not to exceed $1,000 or by imprisonment for not more than 90 days. Any business owner, manager, or supervisor who requires or encourages any of their employees, contractors, vendors, volunteers, or interns to violate this Executive Order is guilty of a gross misdemeanor and upon conviction must be punished by a fine not to exceed $3,000 or by imprisonment for not more than a year. In addition to those criminal penalties, the Attorney General, as well as city and county attorneys, may seek any civil relief available pursuant to Minnesota Statutes 2019, section 8.31, for violations of this Executive Order, including civil penalties up to $25,000 per occurrence from businesses and injunctive relief. Nothing in this Executive Order is intended to encourage or allow law enforcement to transgress individual constitutional rights.

Pursuant to Minnesota Statutes 2019, section 4.035, subdivision 2, and section 12.32, this Executive Order is effective immediately upon approval by the Executive Council. It remains in effect until the peacetime emergency declared in Executive Order 20-01 is terminated or until it is rescinded by proper authority.

A determination that any provision of this Executive Order is invalid will not affect the enforceability of any other provision of this Executive Order. Rather, the invalid provision will be modified to the extent necessary so that it is enforceable.

Signed on May 13, 2020.

Tim Walz
Governor

Filed According to Law:

Approved by the Executive Council on May 13, 2020:

Alice Roberts-Davis
Secretary, Executive Council

Last updated: Friday, May 15, 2020