Minneapolis declares public health emergency amid COVID-19 outbreak

Minneapolis, 2019 (FOX 9)

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey declared a local public health emergency Monday to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The declaration means that, effective noon Tuesday, the city is closing or limiting access to bars, restaurants, nightclubs, and coffee shops in Minneapolis. The city will be in close communication with state leadership on the process. Operations will be limited to delivery, takeout, and drive-thru orders.

Just yesterday, St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter declared a local emergency, closing all libraries, parks, and recreation facilities.

Minnesota now has 54 confirmed COVID-19 cases. Gov. Tim Walz signed an executive order Friday declaring a peacetime state of emergency. The governor and the health commissioner also announced a number of community mitigation strategies aimed at slowing the spread of the deadly coronavirus in the state. 

According to a release, the mayor’s declaration must be voted on by the city council within 72 hours. The local emergency may not be continued for more than three days except by or with consent of the city council. Frey has requested the emergency declaration remains in effect as long as the State of Minnesota peacetime emergency declaration remains in effect. 

Last week, Frey announced that the city would suspend water shutoffs for the month ahead. 

Additionally, in line with recommendations from the CDC, the city will halt issuance of new permits for any gatherings of 50 or more people. Frey has also been in direct contact with the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office regarding eviction enforcement in Minneapolis.