Blog Archive: April 2020

A can of beer, bottle of wine and takeout meal bag

'Would you like a drink with that?'

April 30

The stay-at-home order is definitely helping Minnesotans stay safe from COVID-19. But it also comes with its own issues, such as the fact that some of us are getting tired of our own cooking, don’t have the facilities to cook, or don’t know how. That’s why it’s so nice to be able to order meals for delivery or pick them up curbside from local restaurants and bars, especially now that we know we’ll be staying home until May 18. Until April 18, though, none of those meal orders could involve alcohol. That’s when Gov. Walz signed the Limited Off-Sale for Restaurants law...

A family planting a tree and bushes in their yard

Fighting the boredom with yard work? Read this first.

April 27

If you’re stuck at home during this pandemic, you’re probably looking for ways to stay occupied. Once Netflix and jigsaw puzzles lose their luster, you may find yourself in your backyard, trying to decide whether to plant the tomatoes by the garage or over by the fence this year. But there’s one step that needs to come before you use that shovel in your hand: You need to call 811 before you dig. Every six minutes, an underground utility line is damaged because someone decided to dig without calling 811...

Drive Smart! graphic with Minnesota Department of Public Safety logo

Driving safely is another way to take care of each other

April 23

Minnesotans learned some things over the last few weeks, haven’t we? And most of them have to do with keeping ourselves, our friends and our neighbors safe: washing our hands frequently, staying home if we’re not essential workers, wearing masks and gloves when we have to leave the house. As a result of these life-saving measures, Minnesotans have been driving a lot less since the governor’s stay at home order. For instance, in the Twin Cities area on Tuesday, April 21, traffic volumes were down 36 percent compared to averages a year ago. They were down 31 percent statewide...

A firefighter holding a radio while standing near a fire truck

The extra demand on wireless broadband networks during COVID-19

April 21

Social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic means we all have to find innovative ways to communicate with one another. Grandparents in assisted living facilities are using tablets to video chat with their families who are no longer allowed to visit. Parents and other adults teleworking from home spend hours collaborating on conference calls and on shared video platforms, while kids stream video online during distance learning. The stay at home order has exponentially increased traffic volumes...

A woman looking out a window

When staying at home means staying with your abuser

April 16

The governor’s stay at home order has put Minnesotans in close quarters. In some cases, tempers fray and tensions rise – but for most, it’s more of an annoyance than anything. Not so for victims of sexual and other violence. For them, it can exacerbate the dangers they already face. Being in quarantine with an abuser can increase a victim’s risk factors for violence. For example, leaving the house less (or not at all) increases the victim’s isolation: there’s no one to notice outward signs of abuse. Increased isolation can also create barriers to a victim’s ability to get help...

An outdoor warning siren

How our response to severe weather is different during a pandemic

April 13

Living in Minnesota, we’re no strangers to the fact that Mother Nature can be harsh. We’ve been through blizzards, floods and tornadoes – sometimes all in the same year – and lived to tell the tale. But now that we’re all dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, we may wish Mother Nature would cut us a break. But she may not. And since COVID-19 response efforts will likely persist well into severe weather season, we’ll have to prepare with that in mind...

A man donating blood

How Minnesotans are helping each other through the COVID-19 crisis

April 9

When the going gets tough, Minnesotans pull together – and the COVID-19 pandemic is no exception. We’ve been hearing about acts of kindness, big and small, across our state, and the stories are no less than inspiring. We thought we’d share some of our favorites with you, and let you know how you can help pay the kindness forward, as well...

A girl standing next to whiteboard with a daily schedule written on it

Stay at home safely: Fire safety and prevention tips

April 6

Did you know that most fires happen at home? That’s because it’s usually where people spend the most time. So what does that mean during a pandemic, when there’s a stay at home order and most of us are barely leaving the house at all? It means we need to use some of that extra time to make our homes fire safe...

DVS doors with closed signs

Driver and Vehicle Services closes offices to help slow the spread of COVID-19

April 2

As you know, Gov. Walz issued a stay at home order last week – and Minnesotans are taking it very seriously. Non-essential businesses are shuttered, people are limiting their movements, bicycle and pedestrian traffic is up 20 percent. The Department of Public Safety Driver and Vehicle Services division (DPS-DVS) is no exception: They have closed all their exam stations statewide, and independently owned and operated deputy registrar and driver’s license agent offices are...