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Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) - Will Rochester police break up large Thanksgiving Day gatherings this week?

Or hand out tickets?

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz last week issued new guidance for businesses and individuals in an effort to slow the ongoing COVID-19 surge in the state.

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz Holds Press Conference
Getty Images

One of his directives prohibits “in-person social gatherings with individuals outside the immediate household.”

Here is the portion of the order:

Social gatherings prohibited. Except as specifically permitted in this
Executive Order, social gatherings are prohibited. Social gatherings are
groups of individuals, who are not members of the same household,
congregated together for a common or coordinated social, community, or
leisure purpose—even if social distancing can be maintained. This prohibition
includes indoor and outdoor gatherings, planned and spontaneous gatherings,
and public and private gatherings. Organizers of prohibited social gatherings
may be subject to appropriate enforcement action by city, county, and/or state
authorities pursuant to paragraph 10 of this Executive Order.

Rochester Police Capt. Casey Moilanen had this response when asked what his department’s plans are:

“As always, RPD is committed to delivering the highest level of public safety to the Rochester community. We continue to encourage everyone to socially distance and follow Stay Safe guidance. We also encourage everyone to adhere to the new COVID-19 restrictions outlined by Governor Walz. As with previous executive orders, our emphasis continues to be on education rather than enforcement.

What happens if a person IS ticketed?

This is included in the governor's executive order:

Enforcement. I urge all Minnesotans to voluntarily comply with this Executive
Order. Pursuant to Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 12.45, an individual who
willfully violates this Executive Order is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon
conviction must be punished by a fine not to exceed $1,000 or by imprisonment for not more than 90 days. Any business owner, manager, or supervisor who requires or encourages any of their employees, contractors, vendors, volunteers, or interns to violate this Executive Order is guilty of a gross misdemeanor and upon conviction must be punished by a fine not to exceed $3,000 or by imprisonment for not more than a year. In addition to those criminal penalties, the Attorney General, as well as city and county attorneys, may investigate and seek any civil relief available pursuant to Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 8.31, for violations or threatened violations of this Executive Order, including but not limited to injunctive relief, civil penalties in an amount to be determined by the court, up to $25,000 per occurrence, costs of investigation and reasonable attorney’s fees and costs, and other equitable relief as determined by the court in accordance with section 8.31. State and local licensing and regulatory entities that inspect businesses for compliance with rules and codes to protect the public are encouraged to assess regulated businesses’ compliance with this Executive Order and use existing enforcement tools to bring businesses into compliance. Nothing in this Executive Order is intended to encourage or allow law enforcement to transgress individual constitutional rights

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