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Coronavirus Updates: Many Non-Essential Minn. Businesses Reopening With COVID-19 Safety Plans

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- For the first time in more than a month, up to 100,000 Minnesotans could be returning to work Monday.

Gov. Tim Walz signed an order to loosen restrictions last Thursday, allowing roughly 20,000 non-critical businesses to reopen Monday, but there are some guidelines to make it happen.

WCCO's Christiane Cordero checked out a northeast Minneapolis business that's getting back to work. It's Brickmania, which makes and sells specialty LEGO kits.

It's the type of non-essential business able to open Monday for two main reasons: They don't deal with customers directly and they can meet certain health guidelines.

Owner Dan Siskind spent the four days since Walz's announcement getting his warehouse ready. He rearranged work spaces to allow 20 feet between cubicles. He propped certain doors open to minimize contact, and created one-way pathways to prevent people from running into each other.

This type of thought-out plan is what the state officials are asking for when speaking to the 100,000 people who can return to work in industries like manufacturing, agriculture, and certain offices.

Each of those businesses must have a COVID-19 preparedness plan. And they have to have a cleaning and disinfecting process in place.

At Brickmania, they're starting small. About 15 people will come back to work Monday voluntarily, and they'll add more throughout the week.

Prior to loosening restrictions for a given setting, businesses must:

– Create, share, and implement a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan that sets out the actions they are taking to ensure social distancing, worker hygiene, and facility cleaning and disinfection necessary to keep workers safe
– Engage in health screening of employees and ensure that sick employees stay home
– Continue to work from home whenever possible

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