Following the advice of public health experts, senior advocates, labor, doctors, hospitals, and long-term care providers, Governor Tim Walz today signed Executive Order 20-75, extending the COVID-19 peacetime emergency that gives the state flexibility in responding to rapidly-evolving issues stemming from COVID-19.
The peacetime emergency protects Minnesotans against evictions and wage garnishment; provides expedited procurement power for PPE and other equipment; allows Minnesota to re-open society strategically, while following the advice of public health experts; and protects workers from unsafe worker conditions. If the peacetime emergency ends, it would jeopardize over $50 million each month in federal funding.
“Minnesotans’ health and safety is our top priority, and the actions we took over the last three months have saved lives,” said Governor Walz. “The peacetime emergency opens our toolbox, allowing us to take swift action as necessary to protect the health and well-being of our communities, businesses, and families. This pandemic is not over. We must continue to work together to put public health first.”
Over 50 community and public health organizations have written to Governor Walz, explaining how the peacetime emergency has allowed them to protect Minnesotans and asking him to extend it. On June 9, two studies revealed that stay home orders have saved millions of lives worldwide.
Every other state in the country has declared a state of emergency allowing governors and other officials to quickly respond to rapidly-evolving threats stemming from COVID-19. 54 out of 55 declarations in U.S. states and territories are still in effect.