How Minnesota authorities are approaching the stay-at-home order

People walk around Lake Harriet in Minneapolis amid the stay-at-home order.

Not everyone is following the guidelines of social distancing. So, can violators face consequences?

Governor Tim Walz says he doesn't want to have to charge and prosecute violators, he would rather everyone comply. Local police say the same and yet, it seems that some are struggling to keep their distance.

FOX 9 spotted one group of walkers at Lake Harriet that moved to meet the six feet guidelines as soon as out camera approached.

“We’re going to try to abide by this now,” said a walker. “It’s always a reminder. Good to be reminded.”

It’s something you’ll see in all the most popular parks. 

While being in violation of the governor’s stay-at-home order is a misdemeanor offense, both St. Paul and Minneapolis police say they haven’t written a single ticket. 

“If we found anyone in violation of the order, we would focus on education and try and get voluntary cooperation to separate to comply with the order,” said Sgt. Mike Ernster of St. Paul Police Department. “Ticketing and arrests are the last thing we want to do in this situation.”

Neither police department has officers out specifically looking for violators, but they are flooded with calls. The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board said Wednesday that they’ve had so many complaints, they won’t hesitate to shut parks down if people don’t start to comply.

The governor has set up a hotline and an email where you can report violators of the stay-at-home order. People call (651)793-3746 or email sahviolations@state.mn.us. 

Police ask that you not flood 911 with these calls, rather use the non-emergency line.