Minneapolis residents have been warned that a failure to comply with Gov. Tim Walz's stay-at-home order will result in law enforcement involvement. The order, which is for the entire state, begins at 11:59 p.m. Friday and lasts through 5 p.m. on April 10.
"I expect 100% compliance by Minneapolis residents and visitors with the governor's stay at home order. A failure to comply with this order will result in our city reaching peak caseloads sooner than we are ready to handle, and therefore a failure to comply with this order will result in lives lost. This is not optional," said Mayor Jacob Frey.
"This is a mandate and I expect it to be followed for the sake of our great city."
Minneapolis police will not be looking to arrest or fine anyone, but if they see people failing to follow social distancing guidelines, they will attempt to educate residents about the importance of staying at least 6-feet apart and avoiding gatherings of any kind.
If education and awareness doesn't lead to people following the order, fines or other forms of enforcement could be taken.
"The stay-at-home order will and must be followed to keep people safe. This directive will be enforced," said Frey.
Chief of Police Medaria Arradondo said enforcement measures will be taken as a last resort, but advising and educating residents who aren't complying with the order will be the first order of business for officers.
Residents can leave their homes for essential needs, or to simply go outside for a walk or run. But everyone who leaves their homes must follow strict social distancing guidelines. Vehicle traffic through city streets and roadways will not be restricted.
"If a city official is not around to tell you to go home, to stop congregating, you better be damned sure that we have mothers around the city that will not tolerate selfishness," said Frey. "If necessary, I will issue an emergency regulation, we will issue fines and pursue other means of enforcement as well."
The mayor added: "The order is built not to reduce the number of people that contract COVID-19, but to extend the time that we collectively have to prepare for the inevitable rate of infections. It's coming, and we must be ready."
As of Friday's data from the Minnesota Department of Health, there are 398 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including four people in Minnesota who have died from the disease.