Richfield prepares to stay at home due to COVID-19
For at least the next two weeks Richfield residents will be hunkering down to comply with Governor Tim Walz’s stay at home order, which was issued at a press conference this afternoon. The order requires Minnesota residents to stay home, unless traveling for essential needs or business, and requires businesses not engaged in essential activities to cease all activities except for minimum basic operations.
The governor’s latest order builds on measures taken by both the state, county and city officials over the past several weeks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, otherwise known as COVID-19.
The governor’s order to stay at home will take effect at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, March 27. The order lasts through Friday, April 10.
In Richfield, Mayor Maria Regan Gonzalez issued a local state of emergency to aid the city in its response to COVID-19 on Monday, March 16, with the entire council extending the declaration two days later. The local state of emergency enabled the city to take additional legal, operational and recovery measures that may be needed to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The declaration also activates the city’s emergency management and response plan.
“As Richfield residents, we need to do everything possible to reduce the number of people who will contract COVID-19, as soon as possible. It is my belief that the governor’s stay at home order will do just that,” said Mayor Maria Regan Gonzalez. ”I understand how difficult this change will be for residents in the short-term, but in the long run, the benefits to our community’s overall health will be enormous.”
During the stay at home order grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations and health care facilities will remain open. Other businesses that will remain open to provide essential services include: banks, utility companies, and home-based care services for seniors and people with disabilities.
According to the shelter in place order, “essential activities” permitted during this time include:
- Health and safety activities
- Outdoor activities
- Necessary supplies and services
- Essential and interstate travel
- Care of others
- Relocation to ensure safety
“The COVID-19 pandemic is truly a life or death situation for some,” explained Regan Gonzalez. “Prior to the governor’s order, I was concerned that not enough people were doing what was needed to be done to stop the spread of this disease. I encourage all residents to take this order seriously and do their part to reduce the impact of this public health crisis.”
Other steps taken by the city to further prevent the spread of the coronavirus include the closing of the Richfield Community Center, Wood Lake Nature Center and the Richfield Ice Arena. In addition, the Public Works Department Building and Richfield Municipal Center are both closed to the public. Services continue to be offered on an appointment-only basis, or via drop-box service. Further, the city has also temporarily closed two of its municipal liquor stores and limited access to the remaining stores to a maximum of six customers at a time.
Learn what other actions the city has taken to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic by visiting: www.richfieldmn.gov/covid19.