Walz signs more executive orders while quarantined; still no shelter in place order

MINNESOTA – Governor Tim Walz is not ready to tell residents to shelter at home, even as he is working from home as a precaution after a member of his security detail was diagnosed with COVID-19.

On Monday he issued multiple new executive orders to aid in Minnesota’s COVID-19 response. Walz has been hesitant to declare a shelter-in-place order until there is clear direction to people and affected entities about how to adjust.

The new orders suspend evictions during the peacetime emergency, establish Peacetime Emergency Loans for small businesses, direct non-hospital entities to conduct an inventory of personal protective equipment, and clarifies that Executive Order 20-09 on elective surgeries and procedures applies to veterinarians.

Order 20-14 clarifies that tenants who can continue to pay rent during the peacetime emergency should continue to do so. Landlords and financial institutions cannot begin eviction proceedings that would remove tenants from stable housing.

Order 20-15 authorizes the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) to establish a Small Business Emergency Loan program for small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Minnesota’s small businesses and independent contractors are amongst the worst hit by the pandemic. DEED’s emergency loan program will help Minnesota small business owners who need immediate assistance during COVID-19 closures.

As hospitals and health care providers report shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE), Governor Walz signed Executive Order 20-16 directing all non-hospital entities to conduct an inventory of their PPE, ventilators, respirators, and anesthesia machines, report the result to the state, and either donate such equipment to a local coordinating entity or preserve it.

Another order clarifies that veterinarians should halt elective surgeries so as to preserve protective equipment known as PPE.

Also today, the Governor and Lt. Governor announced a revised supplemental budget, allocating an additional $356 million toward the state’s COVID-19 response. The revised budget would support and protect Minnesotans during the COVID-19 pandemic.

MINNESOTA - Attorney General Keith Ellison issued a warning to Minnesotans to avoid potential charity scams related to COVID-19. With the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases rising in Minnesota, there is a risk that scammers will try to prey on the generosity of Minnesota donors by tricking them into donating to causes that claim to help COVID-19 patients or to alleviate the strain on overtaxed resources. Attorney General Ellison wants Minnesotans to do their homework before they donate, have the tools to make sure that any charity they donate to is legitimate, recognize the signs of a charity scam, and to file a complaint with his office if they believe they have been scammed by a fake COVID-19-related charity.

Don’t be rushed or pressured into making a donation to a nonprofit, charity, or fundraiser related to COVID-19. Never make a donation by money-wire, cash, or gift cards. Don’t assume that charity recommendations on Facebook or other social media are legitimate. Instead, do the research yourself. For tips for researching charities before you donate, visit the Attorney General’s “Charities Information for the Public” webpage.

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