Impacts to Services
Sick and safe time | Police | Fire | Inspections | Animal Care & Control | Service counters | Division of Race & Equity | Land use applications | Public Works stakeholder and engagement events | City Attorney | Convention Center
Enforcement of stay safe order
To slow the spread of COVID-19 and continue to protect and support each other, Gov. Tim Walz declared a stay safe Minnesota order encouraging Minnesotans to stay close to home but allowing gatherings of friends and family of 10 people or less if proper distancing measures — such as staying 6 feet apart and wearing a mask — are taken.
The order also further opens retail stores and other Main Street businesses if they have a preparedness plan and operate at 50%.
Read FAQs about enforcement
Who do I call if I have questions on what the Minnesota stay safe order includes?
Please DO NOT call 911 unless it’s an emergency. If you live in Minneapolis, you may call 311 or 612-673-3000 if outside city limits. Read the FAQs from Gov. Walz's office.
Can I report people congregating in groups?
Do not call 911 to report people who are not staying home during the stay safe order. Please call 311 if you have concerns about the voluntary compliance of the stay safe order involving a business, organization or a group gathering in a public space. We will route all calls to the appropriate City staff for potential action.
Are there emergency permits or waivers issued so people may drive during this stay safe order?
No, there’s no need for permits or waivers since there are a number of reasons people can be out and about to tend to essential needs, like picking up groceries and prescriptions. Some businesses in essential industries have provided letters to their employees, but these are not necessary.
Will police be pulling people over to see what they are doing?
No. Police may approach groups of people congregating to ensure they are practicing safe physical distancing and to discuss essential activities. The Minneapolis Police Department will not be pulling people over to see why they are not staying at home.
Can police arrest people who do not follow the order?
The Minneapolis Police Department is prioritizing outreach and education in enacting the order. If violations are observed, officers will attempt to make contact with the individuals and discuss their activity.
We anticipate that our first order of business will be to educate residents on expectations outlined in this order and the importance of distancing. Our officers will first offer encouragement to comply with the order for the safety of themselves and their neighbors.
As a last resort, officers have enforcement options available under the law to address outright refusal, including a misdemeanor citation or being booked into jail. The Minneapolis Police Department's goal and expectation is voluntary compliance so that we all do our best to keep our Minneapolis residents, workers and visitors healthy and safe.
City hearings, meetings and events
During the declared public health emergency, we're holding public meetings and hearings online. Our aim is to reduce the spread of COVID-19. It's authorized under Minnesota Statutes § 13D.021.
Watch meetings on:
- Comcast channel 14 or 799
- City Council TV
- Or watch live and archived meeting video on the City’s YouTube Channel
For the most current information about City meetings, see the Legislative Information Management System.
Comment remotely at public hearings live
With public meetings now happening online, changes have been made so you can participate remotely. When there are public hearings, people have the option to provide live comments by phone.
Remote participation is available for the following meetings:
- City Council and council committees
- Audit Committee
- Board of Estimate & Taxation
- Executive Committee
- Charter Commission
- Civil Rights Commission
- Civil Service Commission
- Heritage Preservation Commission
- Planning Commission
- Zoning Board of Adjustment
Solid Waste & Recycling
Currently there is no change to the City’s solid waste, recycling and organics collection operation.
Until further notice the South Transfer Station will be open to voucher customers only. Cash and checks will no longer be accepted. Any voucher overages will be added to the utility bill account for the property.
The City has suspended water meter shutoff during the COVID-19 emergency. Washing hands is critical to protect public health. Water customers who have previously had their water shut off should reach out to Utility Billing, and the City will work to restore their water services.
Frequently asked questions about water safety
Can I catch COVID-19 from drinking water?
Our current practices of water filtration and disinfection provides an effective barrier against COVID-19.
The Environmental Protection Agency, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the World Health Organization have provided expert opinions on the safety of the public drinking water supply, reinforcing the City’s high confidence level.
Staff at City drinking water facilities train for environmental and biological challenges and employ multiple levels of redundancy to ensure safe drinking water is treated and distributed.
Do I need to buy bottled water?
Our current tap water operation will continue to function, providing safe drinking water to people in Minneapolis and the City’s suburban customers. There is no need to buy bottled water for drinking. Safe, clean tap water will continue to be supplied.
How are water utilities protecting the water supply?
The City has stringent hygiene measures in place at its water treatment plants. In addition, there is almost no human contact in the process of treating water for drinking.
Existing water treatment and disinfection processes including the use of chloramine are effective in removing and inactivating viruses from water supplies.
We are in contact with key government agencies to monitor and understand the health impact of COVID-19 as it develops. We are well connected internationally to stay updated on the latest information and data.
If workers are quarantined at home, will water still be supplied?
Water is an essential service and the City is well prepared to manage our response to COVID-19. We have emergency response plans and continue to update them in response to the most current available information.
In general water treatment plants are secure, have backup power and require few staff to operate them. The City ensures that multiple staff are able to operate water treatment plants and water supply systems so that if some employees are on leave for any reason, drinking water can still be safely and reliably supplied.
Utility Billing will continue to provide services to its customers. We discourage anyone from physically visiting the Utility Billing counter or downtown Minneapolis unnecessarily. You can still communicate with us and make payments without having to come Downtown.
Contact Utility Billing
Utility Billing staff is available to you to answer your bill-related questions:
- Phone: 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday, 612-673-1114.
- Email: Email [email protected] at any time.
- Online: View the online portal and create a Premium Access account. You can view your bill and payment histories, make payments and more 24/7. Have your account number or property address and phone number available to register.
- 311: Call 311 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Friday. We work closely with 311 and they may be able to answer basic questions on your utility account or relay them to Utility Billing if necessary.
Options to pay your bill are also still available to you.
- By phone: Pay over the phone by check or credit card. Call 612-673-1114 and follow the payment prompts. Keep your confirmation number.
- Online: Go online to make your payment by check or credit card. Access your Premium Access account by logging in or select the Standard Access tab to make a one-time payment. Have your utility bill account number or property address available.
- Pay through your bank: Pay your bill electronically through your personal bank’s bill payment service. You will need your utility bill account number.
- In person with EZ Pay: Make your cash payment in person at our local participating neighborhood retailer Family Dollar, CVS Pharmacy or ACE Express Cash. You will need a payment slip or coupon. Visit the EZ Pay website first to create your payment slip. Remember to keep at least 6 feet from other people and follow all of the safety guidelines.
- United States Postal Service: Mail in your check or money order payments to Minneapolis Finance, PO Box 77028, Minneapolis, MN 55480-7728. Include your remittance stub if available or write your utility billing account number on your check or money order.
Utilities (gas and electric)
- Xcel Energy, the electricity provider for Minneapolis residents and business owners, announced on March 15 that it will indefinitely suspend residential service disconnections. Any business in Minneapolis experiencing difficulties paying their electric bill should contact Xcel Energy right away; they will work with business customers to arrange payment plans and to waive any late fees. If you have questions about your electricity bill or service, call Xcel Energy’s customer service line at 1-800-895-4999.
- CenterPoint Energy, the gas provider in Minneapolis, also announced it will suspend service disconnections and work with customers who need payment assistance, extensions or other help. If you have questions about your gas bill or service, contact CenterPoint Energy’s customer service line at 1-800-245-2377.
Internet services available in response to COVID-19
See Wireless Minneapolis for additional internet resources.
U.S. Internet (USI)
USI opened its Wi-Fi network in Minneapolis for those who may need temporary internet access.
- Select the “City of Minneapolis Public Wi-Fi” or “USI Wireless” network on your mobile device and you will be connected. The process is similar to using Wi-Fi at a coffee shop or the airport.
- A password, credit card or social security number is not is required to sign in.
- These networks are available throughout the City of Minneapolis. Check the signal strength for your best option based on your location.
- Go to the Wireless Minneapolis webpage for the Wi-Fi coverage map.
- Contact US Internet for more information or to get help over the phone.
Comcast opened its Xfinity Wi-Fi network and is offering unlimited data for free.
- For a map of Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspots, visit www.xfinity.com/wifi. Once at a hotspot, select the “xfinitywifi” network name and open your internet browser.
- Internet Essentials is free to new customers.
- Refer to Comcast's COVID-19 resources for additional details and how to get help.
The City of Minneapolis is making updates to the public right-of-way in response to COVID-19, including:
- Stay Healthy Streets to support comfortable walking, rolling and biking while social distancing.
- Pick-up only zones to support local business.
- Fewer pedestrian push buttons to reduce need to touch surfaces.
For more information, visit Stay Healthy Streets.
Drivers are still required to pay for metered parking they use. Due to less parking demand, the City has significantly reduced ticket enforcement efforts at meters. In high demand areas, metered parking enforcement will continue as usual. These decisions are subject to regular monitoring and re-evaluation.
Minneapolis sick and safe time ordinance
Under the City’s sick and safe time ordinance, employers with six or more workers are required to provide time off at a minimum threshold of at least one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked. Employers with five or fewer workers must also provide sick time, but it may be unpaid.
An employee's accrued sick and safe time hours are legally protected for their use due to coronavirus disease 19 symptoms, testing or infection. Protection extends to the employee and the employee's care of a covered family member. Ordinance protection includes, but is not limited to:
- Coronavirus screening.
- Care or quarantine due to coronavirus symptoms or infection.
- Testing or quarantine following close personal contact with a coronavirus infected or symptomatic person.
- Covered family members' school or place-of-care closure due to coronavirus.
- Workplace closure by order of a public official due to coronavirus.
Many non-emergency services, such as blood pressure checks, are suspended until further notice. In an emergency, call 911.
Property pickup from MPD Property and Evidence
Due to COVID-19, restrictions to the release of personal property are in effect for everyone’s health and safety. Only two people at a time will be allowed into the public lobby. Everyone will be asked to maintain a 6 foot or more distance from one another. For faster service, please call ahead to make arrangements for property pickup. For more details, call 612-673-2932 or email [email protected]
Records Information Unit
The Records Information Unit will be closed to the public until further notice. Read more and request data here.
The City of Minneapolis’ departments that conduct inspections are all taking steps to ensure our customers and staff remain safe. To that end, business practices are being updated to include the following:
- Internal inspections of businesses and occupied residential buildings will be limited to essential inspections until further notice.
- Essential inspections include those that are needed for life, safety and health situations, including high-risk complaints and violations, lead poisonings at State mandated levels, food safety and foodborne outbreaks inspections, permits and certificates of occupancy.
- In buildings with concentrations of vulnerable populations such as schools, hospitals and care centers, health and building inspections will be limited to essential inspections.
- Inspections staff will primarily be based from their cars or home, significantly reducing their time in the office.
- Additionally, staff is developing a list of projects that can be done remotely.
- Messaging will be going out to 311 and license holders.
Animal Care & Control
- Due to COVID-19, the Animal Care & Control shelter is closed to the public. Adoptions and other transactions are done by appointment only. Call 311 or 612-673-6222 to schedule an appointment.
- To help Minneapolis Animal Care & Control prioritize emergency calls, please review our guidelines on what to do if you find a stray animal before calling 311. Often the best thing to do for kittens or cats in your neighborhood is to leave them alone. And most lost dogs are found very close to their home, so walking around your neighborhood or posting on neighborhood social media sites frequently results in faster reunions.
- It’s important to have a plan for your pets if you're unable to care for them. Minneapolis Animal Care & Control has helpful tips on how to include your pets in preparedness planning for pandemics, severe weather and other emergencies.
The City operates several service counters – for development review, business licensing, at the Minneapolis Animal Care and Control (MACC) shelter, and the Assessor’s Office. As of March 16, operations at these counters changed to align with recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Health.
We are suspending in-person counter service and shifting to electronic or drop-off service for plans, permits, licenses, homestead and other special program applications. All communication between customers and City staff will shift to phone and email. In addition, MACC is closed to the public until further notice.
For more information or guidance on new processes, contact 311.
Land use applications
The City began accepting land use applications Friday, April 10. All information must be submitted electronically. Learn more from CPED.
Find more information here about how to participate in Planning Commission, Heritage Preservation Commission or any other City public hearings.
Public Works stakeholder and engagement meetings
All in-person stakeholder and engagement meetings for Public Works projects are canceled. Please visit the project webpage for more information on the project and how to participate remotely.
Learn more about all Public Works projects.
Sign up and receive updates on all Public Works projects.
The City Attorney’s Office is open between 8 a.m. and noon and will have a minimal physical presence in the office. We discourage anyone from physically visiting the City Attorney’s lobby area unnecessarily. If you must drop off documents, please email the recipient to arrange a safe method. There is space to leave documents in the lobby only as a last resort. If you have questions for the City Attorney’s Office, please contact 311 and ask to be connected.
- View the Minneapolis Convention Center's website for updates.
Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board
- All Minneapolis Parks recreation centers and many amenities are closed until further notice.
- Find out about parks, playgrounds and other Park Board services at minneapolisparks.org/coronavirus.
Minneapolis Public Schools
- Minneapolis Public Schools closed Tuesday, March 17. Distance learning started April 6.
- Minneapolis Public Schools is providing children with meals while schools are closed.
- Hennepin County closed all public-facing services at its 41 library, human services and licensing service centers.
- Hennepin County drop-off facilities for household hazardous waste and recycling are open with limited operations and new safety procedures.
- Visit Hennepin County's website for updates.
- The Hennepin County Library system is offering curbside pickup.
- Use Metro Transit for essential travel only.
- Metro Transit is operating a reduced service schedule.
- Visit Metro Transit's website for updates.
Last updated Jan 4, 2021