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Rochester supports shelter-in-place order, Walz not ready yet

Miguel Octavio
Created: March 24, 2020 11:05 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- Rochester is not called the Med City for nothing. With a strong healthcare force, it's why Mayor Kim Norton said a shelter-in-place order is more imminent in town.
 
"We need to make certain that our healthcare workers are protected and kept healthy," Norton said. "I feel more urgency with all the healthcare providers in Rochester than some other community mayors might."
 
The City passed a resolution Monday night formally declaring its support of a shelter-in-place but it doesn't give it the green light. 
 
"It was just to say that we've heard from people that they would like it to be statewide," Norton said. "We were trying to let the Governor know that when he's ready, that we stand in support."
 
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz said he and researchers are examining data to help paint a clearer picture of how a shelter-in-place could impact Minnesota, along with when the peak of the pandemic may hit before taking further action. 
 
Walz also said that if he does issue such an order, once it's lifted, it doesn't mean the spread of COVID-19 is over. 
 
"It sets up a dangerous precedent where reinfection rates in these countries that have gotten it down are coming back again," Walz said.

Shelter-in-place orders vary by location throughout the U.S. 
In San Francisco, more stringent measures are taken -- only essential trips like going to the grocery store or the pharmacy are allowed.

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The shelter-in-place order would have more of a bigger impact on more businesses," Norton said. "It would definitely have a bigger impact on our community."
 
Mayor Norton encourages Minnesotans to continue following safety precautions like social distancing or staying at home when possible to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The City recently issued a 30-day moratorium on meter enforcement and loosened parking restrictions downtown. Collaborations with groups that help provide food and shelter for people experiencing homelessness continue amid the COVID-19 pandemic.


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