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As Minnesota tries to get a handle on the rising cases of the coronavirus, it's banned ANY social gatherings-- and you could face a fine if you violate the new executive order.

Positive cases of COVID-19 are rising rapidly across the upper Midwest and here in Minnesota, straining our healthcare systems and, more importantly, placing an inordinate amount of stress on our already-overburdened healthcare workers.

Which is why Gov. Walz unveiled a new set of dial-back restrictions for Minnesota in a statewide speech Wednesday night. Set to take effect Friday, November 20th at midnight, they include a four-week pause on dining in at restaurants and bars, a pause on youth sports plus gyms and fitness centers, as well as other restrictions. Also included in Executive Order 20-99 is a ban on ANY social gatherings with anyone not in your household, whether inside or outside.

That's because state officials say the spread of the coronavirus is SO widespread right now across Minnesota, even what appears to be a harmless visit with a few friends or relatives-- an activity that before seemed safe-- could lead to many different 'micro-spreader' events that continue to spread COVID-19 exponentially.

So, yeah, if you have anyone, like friends or relatives, who doesn't live with you over to your house, you're violating the order. And, you could be fined for doing so-- up to $1,000-- and spend up to 90 days in jail. Seriously. According to BringMeTheNews:

Those who host or plan gatherings – spontaneous or not – could be subject to enforcement action by city, county and/or state authorities, Executive Order 20-99 states. Those who "willfully violate" the orders could face a $1,000 fine and/or up to 90 days in jail.

Now while those provisions are technically the law, no government entity in Minnesota is going to be out inspecting your Thanksgiving dinner. In fact, in a press conference with reporters later Wednesday night, BringMeTheNews notes Gov. Walz said, "I'm not going into someone's house on Thanksgiving, but here's the thing, if you're dining with a whole bunch of people not in your family on Thanksgiving, you're really speaking volumes about what the values are here in Minnesota," the story said.

The ongoing pandemic, of course, hasn't just taken a toll on our health, it's also been harmful to our economy, as well. Keep scrolling to check out a list of the businesses that have closed here in Rochester so far in 2020...

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