ROCHESTER, Minn. - There's a possibility Minnesotans could see a shelter in place order as COVID-19 cases increase across the country.
The order would be one of the strictest preventative measures utilized during the coronavirus outbreak. It's already been put in place in Northern California and Gov. Tim Walz announced he hasn't ruled it out in Minnesota, either.
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Walz said, "We're in uncharted waters but as the saying goes, we're rowing that boat together in Minnesota."
The order would allow essential travel only for people in professions like police, firefighters, and sanitation workers.
Everyone else would need to stay inside as the governor has already requested social distancing.
"It's an eerie and heartbreaking scene to see shuttered businesses and shuttered schools but the encouraging part of that is the better we do that the sooner we get through this and the more lives that we save," said Walz.
Olmsted County Emergency Management says there would be some occasions when it would be okay to leave home as long as people don't abuse it.
Captain Mike Bromberg explained, "For the basic person to go get a gallon of milk because they need a gallon of milk I don't think they're going to get arrested and hauled off to jail."
Bromberg says the move would be unprecedented and there would be a learning curve for enforcement.
He added, "This would be a whole new ballgame, like everything else, with this event."
At this point the order has not been enacted however Walz has put in place a temporary closure of restaurants, bars and other places of "public amusement" until March 27th.