Today, COVID-19 is spreading more slowly across Minnesota than two months ago. Recognizing our progress – but understanding we need to remain cautious – we are adjusting the dials and opening more activities and sectors of the economy.
January 10, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. unless otherwise noted.
Minnesotans' sacrifice and commitment to their communities over the holiday season has helped change the pandemic's trajectory and save lives. By nearly any metric, the pandemic is improving, and the situation in Minnesota is undeniably better than it was last month. We are continuing to see progress. We can be optimistic.
Recognizing this, Governor Walz has announced measures that loosen restrictions on important parts of daily life while urging Minnesotans to protect the progress we’ve made. We need to be cautious. Two months ago the pandemic quickly snowballed from manageable to out-of-control and we cannot allow that to happen again. Even now, we remain concerned about the emergence of a new, more contagious coronavirus variant spreading around the world.
But COVID-19 is spreading more slowly across Minnesota than two months ago, and there is any opportunity to open more activities and sectors of the economy. Everyone should continue to take precautions to combat the spread of the virus in their community – wear a mask, practice social distancing, and gather outside when possible.
As we move into this new phase of our pandemic response, we continue to weigh three key factors:
Above all else, we listen to our public health experts, doctors, nurses and front-line workers who are tirelessly serving our state every day.
All Minnesotans are urged to voluntarily comply with this Executive Order. The state is working with local law enforcement and other authorities to support the order.
To slow the spread of COVID-19, all workers who can telecommute or work from home must continue to do so, If there is a dispute about an employee's ability to work from home, we encourage the employer and employee to work collaboratively to come up with a solution in light of the order's directive that all critical sector workers who can work from home must do so. If a dispute remains unresolved, employees can contact the Work from Home Violation Helpline by phone: 651-539-1132 or 1-833-454-0152 (toll free), or by email: WFHviolations@state.mn.us
As we continue our efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19, Governor Walz recently signed into law $216 million in direct support for small businesses and workers affected by the pandemic. This bipartisan bill will provide direct, targeted aid to keep our small businesses afloat, extend unemployment benefits for workers struggling to get by, and help families put food on the table. It is an important step in the right direction as we continue to push for federal relief.
This is an extraordinarily difficult time. Human beings are social by nature––we need human connections––and Dial Back, Minnesota strikes at the heart of daily life across our entire state. It is ok to be struggling.
There are many resources out there. Mental health providers are open and available. Resources can be found on the COVID-19 website as well as in the Parent and Family resource guide (Hmong, Somali and Spanish). In-person mental health services are allowed and used where telehealth or telephonic services are inappropriate. Day treatment and other outpatient services may also be provided in-person. Group services will be limited to groups of 10 or less to maintain social distancing guidelines.
In certain situations. Indoors, you can gather with two households total including your own, 10 people max. If you move outdoors, you can gather with up to three households including your own, 15 people max. Masks are encouraged and social distancing must be maintained. We hope that this significant step will continue to prove beneficial to Minnesotans, our schools, and our economy, and safely bridge the gap as we move toward widespread vaccination.
Yes, in certain situations. Indoors, your child can gather with people from one other household, 10 people max. Outdoors, they can have up to three households together including their own, 15 people max. Masks are encouraged and social distancing must be maintained, but keep in mind that the more people your child interacts with, and the longer their interaction, the higher the risk of viral spread. These concerns are only furthered by the higher potential for asymptomatic spread among younger populations. While your child may spend time in child care or school settings, reducing the number of people your child interacts with outside of those in your household will reduce the risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19. Further, it protects child care providers and educators on the front lines.
You may receive health care, including COVID-19 testing, dental care, and other kinds of necessary medical visits. If you are seeking a COVID-19 test, we urge you to consider using our no-cost Test at Home Program.
We recommend people call ahead to their health care provider or doctor before seeking medical treatment.
Yes, child care, youth programs, and school-age care programs are not affected by this order and many are operating and serving children. Child care providers that are open are required to adhere to specific public health guidance related to the type of setting to keep children and families safe. Routine and socialization are important for children and these settings provide a critical service in allowing parents and guardians, including those working in health care and other critical sectors, to work so they can support their families. If you are a parent or guardian in need of child care call the Child Care Aware parent line at 1-888-291-9811 to be directed to available licensed or certified child care providers or use the map of available child care providers at mn.gov/childcare.
Yes. Allowable child care services under Dial Back, Minnesota include services provided in a personal home, such as Family, Friend, and Neighbor (FFN) care.
Distance and hybrid learning models have caused families to take on more than ever, and this on top of balancing working from home with parenting challenges can make life stressful. As such, educational services including learning pods will be allowed to continue so long as they follow Guidance for individuals and programs supporting school-age distance and hybrid learners. Learning pods, defined as informal networks of individuals and programs that offer support to school-age distance and hybrid learners (not managed by an organization or licensed or certified child care), are limited to three households and a maximum group size of 10 people. Learning pods must also conform to additional public health practices outlined in the guidance.
Yes. Personal services like salons, tattoo parlors, and barbershops can operate at 50 percent capacity with appointments required. Please call ahead to ensure that you are complying with each specific businesses’ COVID-19 preparedness plan, which may include mandatory masks, checking in for your appointment remotely, or waiting outside for your appointment.
Places of worship can hold religious services, weddings, and funerals both indoors and outdoors, with 50 percent capacity. Proper social distancing measures—like staying six feet apart and wearing a mask—must be taken. We strongly encourage these services to be held and observed virtually.
Bars and restaurants can open at 50 percent capacity, with a maximum of 150 people. Parties of no more than six people must remain six feet from other parties; bar seating is open to parties of two; reservations are required. All restaurants and bars most close all on-premises services between 10:00pm and 4:00am. Delivery and takeout is allowed and encouraged.
Indoor events and entertainment — like bowling alleys, movie theaters, and museums — may open at 25 percent capacity, or no more than 150 people. Masks are required. No food service after 10 p.m.
Gym capacity remains capped at 25 percent but maximum capacity can increase to 150. Machines and people should maintain 12 feet of distance. Classes can increase to include 25 people, assuming distancing can be observed. Everyone must be masked.
Youth and adult organized sports have resumed practice as of January 4 and games resume January 14 with spectators. Similar to any other indoor venue, spectators may gather at 25 percent capacity or no more than 150 people. Inter-region tournaments and out of state play are discouraged.
Like other outdoor activities, going to a playground is allowed with up to three households including your own, 15 people max. Families and guardians should be careful to ensure children wash hands after touching play structures and maintain six feet of space from other children as much as possible. Although the Governor’s order doesn’t close playgrounds, they may be closed by local authorities.
Yes. More information can be found in MDH’s Guidance for Community and Faith-Based Organizations. When attending AA meeting, Minnesotans should wear face coverings and practice social distancing measures and maintain six feet between you and those around you. Sobriety support groups are encouraged to provide virtual meetings or meetings by telephone for members who need assistance and support. Please refer to the following resources to learn more about accessing remote sobriety support:
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA):
Narcotics Anonymous (NA):
Outdoor recreation is permitted with people from up to three households, provided it adheres to paragraph 6 of this Executive Order and the Outdoor Recreation Guidelines available at DNR’s website. Indoor facilities at all recreation sites are closed.
Developed campgrounds in state parks, recreation areas, and forests are open for use with people from up to three households.