Severity: Warning Alert      

Transportation: Officials in Minnesota, US, maintaining several COVID-19 restrictions as of July 28; face coverings mandatory in indoor public places.

  • Alert Begins: 28 Jul 2020 02:53 PM UTC
  • Alert Expires: 18 Aug 2020 11:59 PM UTC
  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Minnesota (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Business disruptions likely

As of July 28, officials in Minnesota are maintaining restrictions to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and have issued an order that all residents over the age of five must wear protective face coverings in all indoor businesses and indoor public settings. People with medical conditions that make it unreasonable to wear a face covering are exempt.

Minnesota has remained at Phase 3 of its economic recovery plan since June 10. Under Phase 3, restaurants may offer indoor dining at 50-percent capacity, as well as outdoor services; gyms and fitness centers, indoor entertainment venues such as theaters and bowling alleys, and outdoor entertainment venues as those hosting sporting events and concerts, may operate at 25-percent capacity; places of worship may offer indoor services at 50-percent capacity; and swimming pools can open.

All residents are encouraged to limit social interactions, and residents aged 65 and older and those with underlying health issues are urged to remain home as much as possible. Weddings, funerals, and religious services held outdoors may host up to 250 people; gatherings for such functions held indoors may not exceed 25 percent of the venue's capacity or 250 persons, whichever is less. Social gatherings of up to 10 people indoors and up to 25 people outdoors are allowed.

Retail stores and malls can continue operating; office-based businesses may also remain open, but authorities strongly encourage employees to work from home. Drive-in entertainment venues, outdoor recreational facilities, parks, ski areas, and childcare centers are also open.

All businesses allowed to operate must comply with certain mandates aimed at preventing increases in COVID-19 transmission, such as adhering to social-distancing guidelines, enhancing sanitation procedures, requiring the use of protective face coverings, and ensuring sick employees remain home, among other requirements. Essential businesses such as grocery stores, pharmacies, banks, and shelters, as well as media, energy, transport, security, and critical manufacturing companies, have not been subject to mandatory closures.

Business disruptions remain likely. Officials could amend the orders at short notice, depending on disease activity in the coming weeks.

Remain courteous and cooperative if approached and questioned by law enforcement officers. Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

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