Pine Knot News - A hometown newspaper with a local office, local owners & lots of local news

Governor's new order means Gordy's Hi-Hat will delay opening


March 13, 2020

Monday brought more COVID-19 upheaval to this corner of northern Minnesota.

In the morning, Gordy’s Hi-Hat owner Dan Lundquist said the restaurant would open as planned on Thursday (March 19), “unless issues develop outside our control.”

They did. A few hours later, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz announced a new executive order: that all bars, restaurants, coffee shops, breweries and other venues close to dine-in guests as of 5 p.m. Tuesday, through March 27 at least.

So Lundquist suddenly had to pivot to new plans for his family-owned restaurant and coffee shop.

“We are working on our Warming House plan tonight, but will be postponing our Hi-Hat opening,” Lundquist told the Pine Knot News Monday evening.

The governor’s order allows businesses to continue delivery services and takeout, as well as serving people through a drive-up window.

The order also applies to gyms, as the state attempts to slow the spread of the highly contagious disease, “bend the curve,” as he’s said repeatedly in recent days. The state now has 54 confirmed cases of COVID-19, mostly confined to the metro area with a few in southern Minnesota.

Bearaboo coffee announced on Facebook that it would be a Drive-Thru and Grab & Go only as of Tuesday.

"This is very sad for us but we know how important it is to stop the spread of COVID-19," owners Natalie and Chris Swanson wrote, encouraging people to call in order for pick-up as well.

Look for more in this week's Pine Knot News.

Following is a press release issued by the governor’s office Monday.

Following the Minnesota Department of Public Health’s announcement today that the number of COVID-19 cases in Minnesota climbed past 50 with multiple cases of community transmission, Governor Tim Walz today signed Executive Order 20-04 to order the temporary closure of Minnesota restaurants and bars to dine-in customers. He also ordered the temporary closure of other places of public accommodation and amusement, including theaters, museums, fitness centers, and community clubs.

In an effort to support the many Minnesotans affected by these closures, the Governor signed Executive Order 20-05 to strengthen Minnesota’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund and ensure that workers who are not able to work as a result of COVID-19 have benefits available. Specifically, this Executive Order will waive the employer surcharge and allow the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development to pay unemployment benefits immediately, providing fast relief to employees who need it.

“As the cases of COVID-19 in Minnesota continue to climb, we must take decisive action to curb the spread of this pandemic and protect the health and safety of Minnesotans,” said Governor Walz. “This is a challenging time for business owners, employees, children and families alike. We must come together as One Minnesota to care for our neighbors and slow the spread of COVID-19.”

Affected businesses must close by 5:00 pm on Tuesday, March 17. Delivery and curbside take-out services are still permitted with community mitigation strategies in place.

Yesterday, Governor Walz signed Executive Order 20-02, directing schools to temporarily close to students by Wednesday, March 18, and for administrators and teachers to engage in long-term strategic planning to provide distance learning, meals, and other essential services for students and their families.

This followed Friday's announcement declaring a peacetime emergency to ensure the State of Minnesota is able respond to more rapidly to issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic as they arise.


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