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Stay at Home orders in Minnesota, Wisconsin explained

You may be hearing about orders with names like "shelter in place" or "stay at home." What do they mean?
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Editor's note: Minnesota's "Stay at Home" order has been extended to May 4, including the closure of bars and restaurants.

"Shelter in place" is becoming a more commonly used term in the fight against COVID-19 around the globe. But what exactly does it mean?

Several states have now issued orders with names like "stay at home" and "shelter in place."

On Wednesday, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced a "Stay Home Executive Order" beginning at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, March 27 and continuing until Friday, April 10.

Under the order, Minnesotans are asked to limit movements outside of their homes other than essential needs for those two weeks. 

Walz said people can still leave their homes for certain purposes, but should engage in social distancing. Those activities include health and safety (such as going to the doctor), getting necessary supplies and services (like going to the grocery stores), outdoor activities, essential travel, caring for others, among others.

In addition, Walz announced closures of bars, restaurants and other public accomodations will be extended until May 1 at 5:00 p.m., with takeout still allowed.

On education, the state will move to "distance learning" until at least May 4.

People with questions can visit a special page on the Governor's website which has answers to frequently asked questions about the "Stay Home" order.

In Wisconsin, Gov. Tony Evers enacted a "safer at home" emergency order this week.

Evers is ordering everyone to stay home except for essential activities and travel. In addition, all non-essential businesses are ordered to close with the exception of what work can be done at home. For anyone who does not have their own residence, the order means they must maintain social distancing of 6 feet from non-family members, as much as possible.

The order also says that all public and private gatherings of any number of people, who are not part of a single household, are prohibited. Restaurants and bars are still allowed to offer carryout services.

The full order, which details what business, activities and travel are considered essential, as well as other exceptions, is available below or online here.

In another example from Yolo County, California, where an order was issued March 18, activity, travel and business is limited to "only the most essential needs."

In guidance issued to that county residents were told they are allowed to leave their home "for specified reasons to make sure you have the necessities of life such as getting food and medical supplies."

People can also go outside to take care of pets, go for walks, exercise and enjoy nearby parks, so long as they observe social distancing of at least 6 feet.

Those who are sick are told to stay at home and isolate themselves even from people they live with, as much as possible.

In San Francisco, the "stay home" order was described as this:

"Vulnerable populations must stay home. Everyone else is required to stay home except to get food, care for a relative or friend, get necessary health care, or go to an essential job."

Yolo County also published a more detailed list of "essential" and "non-essential" activities and jobs for their residents.

If you want to report a violation of the Stay At Home order, DO NOT call 9-1-1. Instead, you can call 651-793-3746 or email SAHviolation@state.mn.us.

KARE 11’s coverage of the coronavirus is rooted in Facts, not Fear. Visit kare11.com/coronavirus for comprehensive coverage, find out what you need to know about the Midwest specifically, learn more about the symptoms, and keep tabs on the cases around the world here. Have a question? Text it to us at 763-797-7215. And get the latest coronavirus updates sent right to your inbox every morning. Subscribe to the KARE 11 Sunrise newsletter here. Help local families in need: www.kare11.com/give11.

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