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UPDATE: Minnesota governor: some businesses can reopen, schools will stay closed for the rest of academic year

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ST. PAUL, MN-- Minnesota's governor announced Thursday that some businesses can reopen, but all of the state's public K-12 schools to stay closed the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year.

Walz says his decision means students will continue distance learning to help limit the spread of COVID-19.

The state’s schools have been closed since March 18.

Walz also announced his decision to allow certain non-critical businesses to return to work starting Monday, April 27. Those non-critical businesses include "Critical Sector workers in industrial and office-based businesses that do not directly interact with customers or the general public in their facilities to go back to work if they can’t work from home."

According to Walz, this plan will aloow 80,000-100,000 Minnesotans to return to work.

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“This is a limited first step in the process of safely reopening some businesses and returning Minnesotans to work,” said Department of Employment and Economic Development Commissioner Steve Grove. “We will continue to listen to and seek input from business and community leaders and work with public health experts on creative solutions to put more people back to work as safely and quickly as possible.”

Prior to loosening restrictions for a given setting, businesses must:

-Create, share, and implement a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan that sets out the actions they are taking to ensure social distancing, worker hygiene, and facility cleaning and disinfection necessary to keep workers safe
-Engage in health screening of employees and ensure that sick employees stay home
-Continue to work from home whenever possible

While Walz's announcement on schools affects the state's public schools, leaders at Duluth's Marshall School say they plan to align with Walz's order.

"Our decision to continue eLearning does not necessarily preclude the possibility of opening our campus to some level of activity should the stay-at-home order be lifted," Kevin Breen, the Head of Marshall School, wrote Thursday afternoon.

Tonight on the KBJR 6 news at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., we'll hear from Northland students on their reaction to Walz's announcement.

ST. PAUL, MN-- Minnesota's governor is expected to order the state's public K-12 schools to stay closed the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year, according to a report from the Star Tribune.

Walz is expected to make the announcement at 2 p.m. to limit the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The state’s schools have been closed since March 18 and were set to remain closed until at least May 4.

KBJR 6 will be airing the announcement on-air and on our Facebook page at 2 p.m.

Briggs LeSavage

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