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COVID-19 News: New Ulm, Brown County law enforcement clarifies “stay at home” rules

There is much confusion about Governor Walz’s executive order encouraging Minnesota residents to stay at home and practice social distancing until March 27.

To clarify some of the issues for the public, the New Ulm Police Department and Brown County Sheriff’s Department have jointly issued the following statement:

All law enforcement agencies within Minnesota are required to enforce the Executive Order and violations are considered a misdemeanor.  (The goal of) law enforcement remains the same: to deter crime, attempt to deter motor vehicle crashes, and keep our roadways and public safe.   This Executive Order is certainly part of our responsibilities and will be diligently enforced; however, law enforcement will be following the same enforcement procedures as in the past, which requires meeting certain levels of proof to execute action.

To address three of the most common questions that have been presented to law enforcement concerning the Executive Order:

  1. Can I travel? Answer: Yes.  The order permits people to travel for many reason to include “drive for pleasure”.
  2. Do we need documentation of being an essential / critical employee?   Answer:  No.  This is not required, but having some type of form or business identification card might be helpful for employees to better define their job responsibility.  (Law enforcement) recommends that there is some type of contact information for the officer to follow up on.  Usually, most employers have been recommending employees use their supervisor or a representative from Human Resources for contact inquires.
  3. Can we be outside?  Answer:  Yes.   Governor Walz encouraged people to be active, and his order allows residents to go for a walk, go jogging, ride their bicycle, visit public parks / public recreation lands, go for a car ride or go hunting and fishing, just observe six foot social distancing rule while doing so.
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