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Walz rules Minnesota’s golf courses can open, lifts other outdoor recreation restrictions

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ST. PAUL, MN -- Minnesota Governor Tim Walz announced Friday that the state's golf courses can now open during his "Stay at Home" order.

Walz's announcement also lifted other restrictions on outdoor recreation opportunities across the state; however, Minnesotans are still asked to follow social distancing guidelines and stay close to home.

“It’s important for us to stay active and enjoy the outdoors while preventing the spread of COVID-19,” Walz said. “This measure will allow Minnesotans to take advantage of more opportunities to get outside, while still doing their part to keep their neighbors healthy.”

Under Executive Order 20-38, facilities that may reopen or remain open include:

Bait shops for live bait
Outdoor shooting ranges and game farms
Public and private parks and trails
Golf courses and driving ranges
Boating and off-highway vehicle services, including:
Marina services
Dock installation and other lake services
Boat and off-highway vehicle sales and repair, by appointment only

Campgrounds and dispersed camping, outdoor recreational equipment retail stores, recreational equipment rental, charter boats, launches, and guided fishing remain closed.

"Minnesotans should continue to take part in outdoor activities close to their primary residence. Staying home helps protect Minnesotans from spreading COVID-19 and limits pressure on rural medical facilities and essential supplies," Walz said.

These new provisions will go into effect on at 5 a.m. Saturday, April 18.

The president of the Minnesota Nurses Association, Mary Turner, spoke at Friday's press conference.

She thanked Minnesotans for buying hospitals time to prepare.

She also stressed how real the virus is and it's devastating impacts on patients and families.

"I don't know how many calls I've had during the middle of the night, family begging to see their family members, asking us, can you please just put the phone up to their ear so we can tell them we love them," said Turner.

Turner asked Minnesotans to continue working to slow the spread so hospitals don't get overwhelmed with patients.

Minnesota also launched a new page on its COVID-19 website, dedicated to mental health resources.

The governor says people are feeling isolated and may need help.

Mental health providers are open.

You can text 'MN' to 741-741 and someone will be in touch.

You can also call Star-Star-CRISIS (**-274747) for help.

Briggs LeSavage

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