BEMIDJI -- Local law enforcement is urging the public not to call 911 for non-emergency questions relating to the coronavirus, according to a release sent out by the Beltrami County Sheriff’s office Thursday.
The Beltrami County Sheriff's Office Emergency Communications Center has been processing numerous non-emergency calls from the public with questions regarding COVID-19 and what constitutes permissible activity under the latest executive order from Gov. Walz, the release said.
Gov. Tim Walz issued a "stay at home" order for Minnesotans beginning at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, March 27.
This order will remain in effect until April 10, and orders Minnesotans to stay home except for essential reasons, which can include buying groceries, medical appointments, going to work in sectors designated as essential, and other permissible reasons to travel.
Law enforcement is not issuing permission passes for people to travel during the "stay at home" order.
“There have been requests for (permission passes) today. There are considerable permissible reasons to travel, please review the websites and news releases,” the release stated.
The Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office encourages the public to view information available online at the Beltrami County Website COVID-19 Response Hub, the Minnesota Department of Health website, or the State of Minnesota website at mn.gov/stayhomemn, which lists an extensive list of essential workers and permissible activity, prior to contacting law enforcement.
Those with non-emergency related questions can call the general information line at 211.
For those without internet access, COVID-19 questions can be directed to the Minnesota Health Department COVID-19 hotline at (800) 657-3903.
For those who aren’t sure if their job is classified as essential, questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additionally, the sheriff’s office clarified that the case of COVID-19 in Beltrami County is not yet reflected on the Minnesota Health Department list due to a reporting anomaly and that the case should be reflected when the department of health updates case numbers on March 27.