44 people charged with violating Minnesota governor's COVID-19 executive orders

Forty-four people were charged between March 1 and Tuesday morning with violating Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz’s executive orders aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19, according to state officials. 

Gov. Tim Walz has extended Minnesota’s stay-at-home order until May 4, although he is expected to announce this week whether it will be extended further. The stay-at-home order mandates that Minnesotans stay home and limit non-essential travel. Residents are still allowed to do certain activities such as taking a walk outside or going to the grocery store, but they must adhere to social distancing guidelines. 

Extending the stay-at-home order also extended the closure of bars, restaurants and other businesses. 

Walz and law enforcement officials have said education, rather than enforcement, is their first priority when it comes to people violating the executive orders.