Minnesota – Coronavirus State Actions

Governors are working closely with federal and local officials as well as private sector partners to address the threat of the novel coronavirus. This page lists select actions taken to date. It is not intended to be exhaustive but is meant to highlight key actions and resources that may inform other states and territories as they prepare for and respond to the novel coronavirus. All state actions can be viewed here, or visit Coronavirus: What You Need To Know for additional information and resources.


Minnesota COVID19 Information and Updates Site

Minnesota Department of Health Coronavirus Site

  • March 10, 2020—Governor Walz signed legislation authorizing the state to use an additional $21 million in state investments to support disease investigation, monitoring of the outbreak, public health information, and laboratory analysis of samples.
  • March 11, 2020—Proposed legislation would grant the Governor the authority to declare a peacetime emergency and allow employees to seek unemployment insurance or paid sick leave should they be quarantined due to COVID-19. 
  • March 12, 2020—Governor Walz  restricted all state business travel for state employees.  
  • March 15, 2020 – The Governor signed Executive Order 20-02 authorizing the closure of all prekindergarten through grade 12 schools. This order also requires schools to provide care for elementary-age children of health care professionals, first responders, and other emergency workers during previously planned school days. Additionally, the order makes provisions for the continuity of mental health services and requires schools to continue providing meals to students in need. The Department of Health also issued comprehensive guidance for public school districts and charter schools on actions to take during these closures.
  • March 15, 2020 – The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry released guidance on worker protections for those impacted by COVID-19.
  • March 16, 2020 – The Governor issued a statement on economic conditions in the state due to COVID-19, stating that experts anticipate a U.S. recession beginning in the second quarter of 2020 and lasting until the first quarter of 2021.
  • March 17, 2020 – The Governor signed Ch 70 S.F. 4334 providing $200 million toward an emergency and long-term grant program. Roughly $50 million will go to a response contingency account and $150 million will be used to establish a health care response fund.
  • March 18, 2020 – The Governor signed three new executive orders which:
    • Protect individuals in veterans’ homes by restricting visitors;
    • Provide emergency relief to motor carries to support food supplies; and
    • Provide paid leave for state employees that are unable to work.
  • March 19, 2020 – The Governor signed Executive Order 20-09 requiring health care providers to postpone elective surgeries and procedures and focus state health care capacity and equipment on needed resources. 
  • March 19, 2020 – Minnesota designated grocery employees as emergency workers. 
  • March 20, 2020 – The Governor announced that the state will partner with the YMCA to care for the school-age children of emergency workers.
  • March 20, 2020 – The Governor announced a 30-day special enrollment period for qualified individuals who are currently without insurance during this public health emergency.
  • March 20, 2020 – The Governor signed three Executive Orders that ban price gouging, ensure critical services continue for vulnerable residents, and seek federal authority to waive or modify certain requirements for federal programs, such as the Family Investment Program, Medical Assistance, and MinnesotaCare.
  • March 21, 2020 – The Governor announced that small businesses in Minnesota are now eligible to apply for disaster assistance through the Small Business Administration loan for economic injury.
  • March 23, 2020 – The Governor announced that he will self-quarantine for 14 days after learning he had contact with an individual who tested positive. 
  • March 23, 2020 – The Governor signed Executive Orders 20-14, 20-15, 20-16, and 20-17, which suspend evictions during the peacetime emergency, establish Peacetime Emergency Loans for small businesses, direct non-hospital entities to conduct an inventory of personal protective equipment, and clarify that Executive Order 20-09 on elective surgeries and procedures applies to veterinarians.
  • March 23 – The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development created an Emergency Loan Program for Minnesota small businesses.  
  • March 25, 2020 – The Governor signed Executive Order 20-20, directing residents to stay at home, and issued a list of activities for which it’s permissible to leave, such as for health and safety activities, necessary supplies and services, and for the care of others. The Governor also announced a Stay Home MN public service announcement campaign through local media channels.
  • March 26, 2020 – The Governor announced that six Minnesota Initiative Foundations will launch an Emergency Child Care Grant Program to provide financial support to licensed child care providers in Greater Minnesota serving families of essential workers needed to respond to this public health emergency.
  • March 27, 2020 – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) approved Minnesota’s request for a Section 1135 Medicaid waiver. The approved waiver enables Minnesota to provide flexibilities in Medicaid provider screening and enrollment, lift prior authorization requirements, allow for reimbursement facility services in alternative settings, extend fair hearing timelines, and waive public comment and tribal consultation requirements for certain changes to the Medicaid state plan
  • March 27, 2020 – The Governor signed Executive Orders 20-2120-2220-23, and 20-24, which:
    • Keep health care workers in the workforce by giving health-related licensing boards flexibility in licensing requirements.
    • Allow the State Auditor to work with local governments to adjust reporting deadlines for various financial reports, to prevent municipalities from having to divert resources that should be used to respond to communities’ critical needs during this public health emergency.
    • Amend Executive Order 20-07 to allow constitutional officers to implement leave for both classified and unclassified employees and to reassign and redeploy staff as needed.
    • Provide hours of service and weight restriction relief for commercial vehicle drivers hauling livestock.
  • March 28, 2020 – The Governor signed HF 4531, which allocates $330 million in COVID-19 aid and includes actions such as, expanding support to small businesses, supporting food banks, providing assistance for veterans, and creating peacetime emergency child care grants.
  • March 30, 2020 – The Governor launched a Stay at Home MN public service announcement campaign.
  • March 30, 2020 – The Governor announced the Small Business Loan Guarantee Program, which temporarily provides another option for financing to help small businesses weather this difficult time by guaranteeing $20 million to $25 million in loans for Minnesota small businesses. This program:
    • Waived work requirements for able-bodied adults without children who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.
    • Temporarily suspended sanctions in the Minnesota Family Investment Program (TANF). 
  • March 31, 2020The Governor signed Executive Orders 20-25 and 20-26 to extend licenses for first responders and to allow the medical cannabis program to continue safely serving residents.
  • April 1, 2020 – The Governor granted the Department of Human Services emergency temporary authority to change administrative and regulatory requirements for food assistance, home care, public health care and other state programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • April 1, 2020  – The Governor announced that he will deliver his second State of the State address on April 5.
  • April 2, 2020 – The Governor announced that Minnesota’s health plans have agreed to waive cost-sharing for treatment of COVID-19.
  • April 3, 2020 – The Governor signed Executive Order 20-27 to lift hours of service requirements for truck drivers transporting livestock feed or fertilizer, in order to support Minnesota’s agriculture community while they work to keep residents fed during this public health emergency.
  • April 3, 2020 – The Governor unveiled a new State of Minnesota COVID-19 dashboard that tracks the virus in Minnesota and provides the latest available data on available ventilators, ICU beds, personal protective equipment, and testing. The dashboard will be updated daily and is available at https://mn.gov/covid19/.
  • April 5, 2020 – The Governor sent a letter to President Donald Trump requesting a major disaster declaration to authorize emergency protective measures.
  • April 6, 2020 – The Governor announced that of the $6.2 million in total funding that was included in the COVID-19 response package passed by the legislature, veterans in the state may be eligible for financial assistance grants from this package.
  • April 6, 2020 – The Governor signed Executive Orders 20-28 and 20-29, that authorize out-of-state mental health providers to provide telehealth services to Minnesota patients and provide immediate relief to employers and unemployed workers through streamlined unemployment insurance and assistance in the qualifying of additional unemployment insurance funds.
  • April 6, 2020 – Due to rising discrimination against the Asian American community, the Governor announced the launch of a Discrimination Helpline to reinforce the state’s efforts to protect the civil rights of Minnesotans during this public health emergency.
  • April 7, 2020 – The Governor announced that the Governor’s Children’s Cabinet, in partnership with CUB Foods and its parent company United Natural Foods Inc., has set up an ordering process specifically for child care providers by leveraging its extensive statewide supply chain network.
  • April 8, 2020 – The Governor signed H.F. 4537, expanding workers’ compensation eligibility for emergency first responders and front-line workers by allowing them to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits if they test positive.
  • April 8, 2020 – The Governor extended the Stay Home Order until May 4 and included more occupations in his designation of what is essential. 
  • April 10, 2020 – The Governor signed Executive Order 20-34 to help protect Minnesota’s first responders by sharing information between the Minnesota Department of Health, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, and 911 Dispatchers and first responders. It also directs the Commissioner of Health to develop protocol for the sharing of information while safeguarding patient privacy.
  • April 13, 2020 – The Governor signed Executive Order 20-35 extending the peacetime emergency in Minnesota for 30 days.
  • April 15, 2020 – The Governor  signed HF 4556, the fourth legislative package passed and signed this month that delivers funding tohelp residents with and without insurance afford COVID-19 testing and care, streamline telemedicine, and extend administrative deadlines.
  • April 15, 2020 – The Governor signed Executive Order 20-36, instituting a hiring freeze and implementing salary cuts for the Governor, his Chief of Staff, and cabinet members.
  • April 15, 2020 – The Governor announced that the state received close to $1 billion in funds from the CARES Act that will be used to help offset the state’s costs associated with responding to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • April 16, 2020 – The Governor announced a partnership with Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky to work in close coordination to reopen the economy in the Midwest region.
  • April 17, 2020 – The Governor signed Executive Order 20-37, which extends exemptions for vehicles and drivers providing assistance for COVID-19 emergency relief efforts for 30 days.
  • April 17, 2020 – The Governor issued Executive Order 20-38, which expands allowable outdoor recreational activities.
  • April 17, 2020 – The Governor signed legislation allowing takeout sales of beer and wine from bars and restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • April 17, 2020 – The Governor launched a week-long homemade mask drive to encourage Minnesotans to create homemade masks for donation and highlight the importance of frontline workers.
  • April 22, 2020 – The Governor, along with members of the health care delivery system, Mayo Clinic, and University of Minnesota, launched a statewide testing strategy to test all symptomatic people, isolate confirmed cases, and expand public health surveillance tools.
  • April 23, 2020 – The Governor outlined several items on the COVID-19 response, including the extension of distance learning through the end of the school year, plans for safely returning as many as 100,000 workers to their jobs, and an explanation of the different factors that determine the gradual re-opening.
  • April 24, 2020 – The Governor unveiled a new website to help Minnesotans find a testing location within their community. The website also provides an interactive screening tool to help users determine if they need a test.
  • April 25, 2020 – The Governor signed Executive Order 20-46, authorizing certain out-of-state healthcare professionals to provide aid in the state during peacetime emergency.
  • April 29, 2020 – The Governor finalized a lease agreement for an alternate care site in the state to provide low-level medical care for monitoring, should it be needed during the pandemic.
  • April 30, 2020 – The Governor extended the Stay Home Order in Minnesota until May 18.
  • May 4, 2020 – The Governor signed Executive Order 20-50, exempting federal, tribal, state, and local COVID-19 relief funds from being automatically intercepted by creditors and debt collectors.
  • May 5, 2020 – The Governor signed Executive Order 20-49, permitting food trucks to operate at up to six highway rest stops in Minnesota.
  • May 5, 2020 – The Governor signed Executive Order 20-51, providing a roadmap for safely restarting elective surgeries.
  • May 5, 2020 – The Governor issued a statement on the state’s economy, describing that the economy has been “badly damaged”.
  • May 7, 2020 – The Governor unveiled a new five-point plan to provide more robust support to our state’s long-term care facilities.
  • May 8, 2020 – The Governor called on the Legislature to replenish and extend the Minnesota COVID-19 fund which currently has $65 million remaining which is set to expire on May 11.
  • May 8, 2020- The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) approved Minnesota’s second request for a Medicaid 1135 waiver. The waiver allows Minnesota to waive consent requirements for Home and Community-Based Services(HCBS), reimburse for HCBS services provided at an entity that also provides case management services, allow for HCBS in additional settings, and to modify timelines for levels of care determinations.
  • May 11, 2020 – The Governor signed Executive Order 20-52, allowing students in critical care sectors to attend classes for needed in-person training or testing in order to graduate.
  • May 14, 2020 – The Governor signed Executive Order 20-57, authorizing and directing the Commissioner of Education to provide a safe and effective summer learning environment for students, with the option to provide a hybrid of distance and in-school learning or to continue distance learning.
  • May 15, 2020 – The Governor signed Executive Order 20-58, allowing the Public Utilities Commission to hold remote meetings as necessary, and Executive Order 20-59 to extend exemptions for vehicles providing assistance for COVID-19 emergency relief efforts for 30 days.
  • May 20, 2020 – The Governor announced the phases in his Stay Safe Plan, including a move to allow limited outdoor dining at restaurants and bars starting June 1.
  • May 23, 2020 – The Governor announced that his administration has partnered with Minnesota faith leaders to develop a plan for places of worship to reopen safely.
  • May 27, 2020 – The Governor signed 21 bills into law, including measures to support farmers and meat processing plants through COVID-19.
  • May 27, 2020 – The Governor signed Executive Order 20-63, which outlines the second phase of Stay Safe MN.
  • June 5, 2020 – The Governor announced Phase III of the Stay Safe MN plan, including a gradual turn of the dial to allow cautious and safe re-opening of indoor dining, gyms, and entertainment venues beginning Wednesday, June 10.
  • June 12, 2020 – The Governor signed Executive Order 20-75, extending the COVID-19 peacetime emergency.
  • June 16, 2020 – The Governor signed H.F. 5 into law, which provides $62.5 million in grants for small businesses impacted by the pandemic. Half of the funding will go to Greater Minnesota businesses, at least $10 million to go to minority-owned businesses, $2.5 million will go to veteran-owned businesses, $2.5 million will go to women-owned businesses, and $2.5 million will support cultural malls.
  • June 19, 2020 – The Governor signed Executive Order 20-76 extends the provisions outlined in Executive Order 20-60, which provide emergency relief from regulations for motor carriers and drivers operating in Minnesota in order to safely and efficiently transport livestock.
  • June 23, 2020 – The Governor announced the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development is now accepting applications for the $62.5 million Small Business Relief Grants Program for businesses impacted by the pandemic.
  • June 29, 2020 – The Governor announced the state has completed more than half a million tests and has reached the milestone of developing a daily capacity of 20,000 COVID-19 molecular tests.
  • July 7, 2020 – The Governor announced that over $56 million dollars will be provided in grants to family child care providers, child care centers, and certain eligible certified centers to support the increased costs and decreased revenue due to the pandemic.  
  • July 8, 2020 – The Governor announced $12 million in funding to combat hunger in the state amid the pandemic. 
  • July 13, 2020 – The Governor signed Executive Order 20-78, extending the COVID-19 peacetime emergency. 
  • July 14, 2020 – The Governor announced a $100 million housing assistance program, with funding from the CARES act, to help prevent evictions, prevent homelessness, and maintain housing stability for individuals and families impacted by the pandemic.
  • July 14, 2020 – The Governor signed Executive Order 20-79, which makes a technical update that will add flexibility to Executive Orders 20-14 and 20-73, by  giving residential tenants a seven-day notice of intent to file an eviction to help mitigate the impact upon residential tenants and encourage resolutions without court involvement.
  • July 17, 2020 – The Governor signed Executive Order 20-80 which extends some of the provisions outlined in Executive Order 20-76, to provide emergency relief from regulations for motor carriers and drivers operating in Minnesota in order to safely and efficiently transport livestock.
  • July 29, 2020 – The Governor  highlighted the state’s distribution of more than 4 million masks to businesses, their customers, and people who are unable to afford a mask or easily obtain one.
  • July 29, 2020 – The Governor proposed $25.8 million in Coronavirus Relief Fund spending to help contain the spread of COVID-19 and its effects among vulnerable populations, which comes from increased need for safe housing by people experiencing homelessness, victims of domestic violence or exploitation and human trafficking, elderly Minnesotans, and others at increased risk.