St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) -  Governor Tim Walz has extended the COVID-19 Stay at Home order for bars and restaurants until May 18th.

At the same time, Walz today announced that retail businesses will be allowed to reopen for curbside pickup of merchandise next Monday. He says that could bring another 30,000 Minnesotans back to their jobs. The governor also stated limited in-store transactions could be allowed in the near future if the curbside scenario goes well and businesses can demonstrate an ability to operate safely amid the pandemic.

Walz suggested that, if things go smoothly and continue progressing in a positive direction in terms of the state's ability to test for and track coronavirus cases, additional restrictions could be lifted prior to May 18th. That could include elective surgeries, allowing limited in-store transactions in non-essential businesses, and holding small family gatherings.

State of Minnesota

Walz also emphasized that state health officials will be closely monitoring the situation and the restrictions could be retightened if there is evidence that the reopening of the currently closed retail businesses is resulting in a significant increase in the transmission of the virus. He is urging Minnesotans to continue working at home if possible, wear a mask or face covering outside of the home where social distancing is difficult, and continue to practice safe social distancing to limit the spread of COVID-19.

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