Stay Safe MN Information for Cities

Published: May 18, 2020

(Updated June 24, 2020)

Minnesota’s stay-at-home order expired in May but other restrictions remain in place for businesses and places of public accommodation. Businesses must have a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan for employee and customer safety and may have to limit the volume of customers in their establishments at one time. Individuals are still encouraged to stay home when possible, keep a social distance with others, and wear cloth face masks when in public settings that make social distancing difficult.

On June 5, 2020, Gov. Walz announced the next steps of the Stay Safe Plan for June 10, 2020, subject to limitations of occupancy, the creation of a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan, and industry-specific guidance.

Get answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding the Stay Safe MN Executive Order:

Q1. If the Stay at Home order is over, should we still be allowing employees to work from home?

Q2. Are there penalties associated with violating the order?

Q3. Can golf courses be open for use? (Updated June 5, 2020)

Q4. Can we open our city campground? (Updated May 22, 2020)

Q5. What are the restrictions on church services? (Updated June 18, 2020)

Q6. What types of businesses must still be closed? (Updated June 5, 2020)

Q7. Can people get together with friends and family now? (Updated June 5, 2020)

Q8. Should city playgrounds be open to the public? (Added May 22, 2020)

Q9. Can our city pools or aquatic facilities be opened? (Updated June 5, 2020)

Q10. Do critical sector businesses need to create COVID-19 Preparedness Plans? (Added June 5, 2020)

Q11. Can our community center start renting space again? (Updated June 18, 2020)

Q12. Do employees count toward the capacity limits on various industries? (Added June 9, 2020)

Q13. If someone rents out one of our city’s park shelters to host an outdoor gathering with food and beverage, what industry guidance would we apply? (Added June 18, 2020)

Q14. Can kids of different households play sports in city programs and/or on city property? (Added June 24, 2020)

Q15. Can adults of different households play games in our fields? (Added June 24, 2020)

Q16. We understand that games can resume beginning June 24, but may friends and family come to watch the games? (Added June 24, 2020)

Q1. If the Stay at Home order is over, should we still be allowing employees to work from home?

A1. Yes, the order says, “Any worker who can work from home must do so.” Whether the position allows an employee to work from home would be up to the employer to determine.

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Q2. Are there penalties associated with violating the order?

A2. Violation of an executive order is 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. Nothing in the executive order is intended to encourage or allow law enforcement to transgress individual constitutional rights.

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Q3. Can golf courses be open for use?

A3. Starting April 18, 2020, public and private golf courses may be open but must adhere to certain social distance protocols and more advanced cleaning regimens if allowing the use of facilities like restrooms. Any food service would still need to be for off-premises consumption only.

Starting June 10, 2020, public and private golf courses may be open but must adhere to certain social distance protocols and more advanced cleaning regimens if allowing the use of facilities like restrooms. Any food and beverage service would need to comply with the Restaurants & Bars industry guidance operating at 50 percent capacity not to exceed 250 people.
—Get more information on the DNR’s Outdoor Recreation Guidelines

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Q4. Can we open our city campground?

A4. Currently, all public and private campgrounds must remain closed to recreational camping. If the city regularly has individuals that are using the campground as their residence, maybe while doing road construction in the area, this may be a valid reason to have your campground open to those users. Please work with your city attorney when making a determination. Remote and dispersed camping sites are allowed to be open.

Beginning June 1, campgrounds following state guidance can open for recreational camping.

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Q5. What are the restrictions on church services?

A5. As of June 10, 2020, Executive Order 20-74 opens places of worship, funeral homes, and other venues that offer gathering space for weddings, funerals, or planned services such as worship, rituals, prayer meetings, or scripture studies. These venues may host such weddings, funerals, or services with more than 10 people, provided that they adhere to the below requirements set by the state’s Guidance for Faith-Based Communities, Places of Worship, Weddings, and Funerals:

  • In all settings, ensure a minimum of 6 feet of physical distancing between households.
  • In indoor settings, occupancy must not exceed 50% of the normal occupant capacity as determined by the fire marshal, with a maximum of 250 people in a single self-contained space.
  • In outdoor settings, gatherings must not exceed 250 individuals.
  • Develop and implement a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan in accordance with guidance developed by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH).
  • Drive-in gatherings are also permitted, provided that all participants remain within their own vehicles and follow guidelines provided by MDH.
  • Gatherings for receptions and other activities before and after ceremonies are restricted to 25% capacity up to 250 people. This is subject to the Guidance for Providing Food and Beverages for On-site Consumption at Indoor and Outdoor Gatherings.

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Q6. What types of businesses must still be closed?

A6. Beginning June 1, 2020, bars, restaurants, salons and spas can open with certain restrictions, including using personal protective equipment, requiring appointments, and implementing capacity limits. Indoor gyms, recreational facilities, and other places of public accommodation must remain closed.

Beginning June 10, 2020, bars, restaurants, salons and spas, gyms, indoor theaters, pools, and outdoor events may all reopen following industry-specific guidance restricting indoor and outdoor capacities provided by DEED.

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Q7. Can people get together with friends and family now?

A7. Until June 10, 2020, gatherings are restricted to 10 people or less. Beginning  June 10, 2020, gatherings of 10 people or less are permitted indoors and gatherings of 25 people or less are permitted outdoors. Social distancing and masks are still encouraged.

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Q8. Should city playgrounds be open to the public?

A8. The decision to be open or closed is for the city to make. If the playground equipment is open for use, a best practice is for the city to have a regular schedule for cleaning and sanitizing the play surfaces and/or post signs that warn users of the risk because the playground is not sanitized.

—For examples of playground signs, check out this blog

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Q9. Can our city pools or aquatic facilities be opened?

A9. Yes, but only for youth sports and youth programs. Broader recreational reopening of pools is currently not allowed. The reopening of the pool must comply with Executive Order 20-63Youth Sports and Recreation guidance, and Swimming Pool & Aquatic Facilities guidance.

Beginning June 10, 2020, indoor and outdoor pools may open but only operating at 50 percent capacity and are subject to the Swimming Pools & Aquatic Facilities Guidance.

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Q10. Do critical sector businesses need to create COVID-19 Preparedness Plans?

A10. Yes. Critical Businesses must develop a COVID-19 Preparedness plan (similar to non-critical businesses that were allowed to open earlier). The state will publish guidance by June 15, 2020 and plans will have to be adopted by June 29, 2020.

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Q11. Can our community center start renting space again?

A11.  As of June 10, Executive Order 20-74 allows you to rent spaces for group gatherings again. This may look very different from pre-COVID, depending on the purpose of the rental. First, the city should have a Preparedness Plan adopted. Educating the renters on the city’s plan, their responsibilities, and the limits of the current executive orders is critical. For example, self-serve food in a buffet is not allowed, and social distancing of tables and people who live in different households is still required. The capacity is restricted to 25% up to 250 people.

Get current guidance from DEED’s Guidance for Recreational Entertainment Venues, Providing Food and Beverages for On-site Consumption at Indoor and Outdoor Gatherings, and Seated Entertainment and Meetings.

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Q12. Do employees count toward the capacity limits on various industries?

A12. No, workplaces do not fall under the gathering limits of various industries.

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Q13. If someone rents out one of our city’s park shelters to host an outdoor gathering with food and beverage, what industry guidance would we apply?

A13. Following Executive Order 20-74, for a gathering at an outdoor venue, the participants and hosts would be subject to the Guidance for Providing Food and Beverages for On-site Consumption at Indoor and Outdoor Gatherings. This requires the event to have a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan, mandates social distancing between people from different households, and limits capacity to 25% up to 250 persons, in addition to other guidance.

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Q14. Can kids of different households play sports in city programs and/or on city property?

A14. Yes. Since June 1, sports programs have been able to begin, but medium- and high-risk sports could not yet be part of the program. Beginning June 24, all outdoor games may resume and beginning July 1, indoor games may resume. Programs must follow Organized Sports Guidance.

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Q15. Can adults of different households play games in our fields?

A15. Yes. Though it was not recommended, adults have been able to participate in games since June 10. MDH recommends waiting until June 24 to resume adult games outdoors and July 1 to resume indoor games. Programs must follow Organized Sports Guidance.

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Q16. We understand that games can resume beginning June 24, but may friends and family come to watch the games?

A16. Yes, beginning June 24, spectators may be present but should follow social distancing recommendations, including wearing masks and maintaining 6 feet of physical distance between people from different households. To determine the number of spectators allowed, venues must follow the specific guidance for the specific settings. Outdoor venues are likely subject to Guidelines for Outdoor Recreational Facilities. Indoor venues likely are subject to Seated Entertainment and Meetings. Your city attorney is best equipped to review your city’s specific venue to make a determination as to which guidance the city must follow. Programs must follow Organized Sports Guidance.

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—Access more COVID-19 News and Resources