Env Svcs COVID-19 Updates

COVID-19 Updates for Restaurants, Hotels, Pools, Food Trucks and Body Art Establishments

Please see the below information about required business closures and proper safety precautions.  

General Updates

The MDH Businesses and Employers  web page has been updated with several new or updated documents:

  1. COVID-19 Preparedness Plan
  2. Drinking Water
  3. Pools and Spas
  4. Lodging Establishments
  5. Building Water Systems
  6. Restaurants
  7. Food Trucks
  8. Body Art
  9. Haz Waste

Businesses in operation must have a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan

Your business’s COVID-19 Preparedness Plan will establish and explain the policies, practices and conditions the business will implement to meet the industry guidance for your business type. These guidelines are based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) guidelines, federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards and applicable executive orders related to safety and health in workplaces. Your Plan should have the strong commitment of management and be developed and implemented with the participation of workers.

Your Plan will help protect your staff and patrons

Employers and employees can decrease the spread of COVID-19 and lower the impact in your workplace by communicating and implementing a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan. Effectively implemented Plans:

  • Prevent and reduce transmission among employees,
  • Maintain healthy business operations, and
  • Maintain a healthy work environment.

Ensure your Plan meets the requirements

Employers in collaboration with employees need to consider how best to decrease the spread of COVID-19 and lower the impact in your workplace.

Assign a designated Plan administrator to ensure the Plan is evaluated, monitored, executed, and updated.

An easy way to make sure that your Plan meets the COVID-19 Preparedness Plan requirements is to use the COVID-19 Preparedness Plan Template and Industry Guidance for Safely Reopening: Restaurants & Bars document. Both of these documents can be found on the Stay Safe Minnesota Website.

The key requirements of the COVID-19 Preparedness Plan for Bars and Restaurants include, but are not limited to:

  • Adopt and implement a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan
  • Ensure a minimum of 6 feet of distance between parties
  • Limit indoor occupant capacity to no more than 50% up to 250 persons
  • Do not exceed 250 persons in outdoor spaces
  • Limit service to parties of 4 persons, or 6 if part of one family unit
  • Require patrons in bars to be seated
  • Require reservations
  • Require workers to wear face coverings at all times
  • Require customers to wear face coverings at all times when indoors and when not eating or drinking.

Review your Plan regularly to ensure that it still meets the requirements. For example, you may need to update your Plan to include the new statewide masking requirements.

Make your Plan available

COVID-19 Preparedness Plans must be communicated to workers and posted at the workplace in a manner that is accessible for workers to review. The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI), in consultation with the Minnesota Department of Health, has the authority to determine whether a Plan is adequate. You are not required to submit your Plan to the state for approval.

Get help with your Plan

We encourage you to contact MNOSHA Workplace Safety Consultation for assistance or questions related to the development of a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan at 651-284-5060, 800-657-3776 or osha.consultation@state.mn.us.

Regulatory Relief for Certifications

Recognizing that several certification providers are not holding regularly scheduled courses due to COVID-19-related restrictions, MDH received formal approval to modify renewal timelines for Certified Food Protection Managers, Trained Pool Operators, and Lifeguards. Information about these can be found on the MDH website:
Pool Operator Training (CPO, AFO, and lifeguards)
Minnesota Certified Food Protection Manager


Anoka County:
2019 Novel Coronavirus Situation Summary 

Minnesota Department of Health:  
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) 

Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA):
Customers Best Practices for Reusable Bags and Food Takeout Containers 

Production of Hand Sanitizer for Donation or Sale 

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources:
Additional golf course guidance for food and beverage service has now been added to the DNR guidance document. See section titled: Guidelines for outdoor recreational facilities:”

  • EO 20-38 stipulates that outdoor recreation facilities may provide food and beverage for “off-premises consumption,” provided such offerings are consistent with Executive Order 20-63. In the context of outdoor recreation facilities, “premises” means the permanent building and any outdoor dining or patio area.
  • For example, a golf course may provide food or beverage to golfers for consumption on the course during their golf round, or as take-out after their round, so long as the food or beverage is not consumed in the clubhouse or an associated outdoor seating area.
  • Food or beverage carts that travel a golf course or other outdoor recreational facility may dispense packaged food and beverages so long as there are adequate provisions for employee handwashing/hand sanitizing.
  • Paragraphs 2 and 4 of Executive Order 20-04 provide additional social distancing requirements for food and beverage facilities, and those requirements apply to food and beverage facilities at outdoor recreation facilities.

Centers for Disease Control:
Guidance for Environmental Health Practitioners 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources

National Environmental Health Association (NEHA):
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Resources 

Food Safety during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Guidance for Food Facility Operators during the COVID-19 Pandemic 

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Best Practices for Retail Food Stores, Restaurants, and Food Pick-Up/Delivery Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Infographic: Summary of Best Practices for Retail Food Stores, Restaurants, and Food Pick-Up/Delivery Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Links to PDFs of Executive Orders

Executive Order 20-01 Declaring a Peacetime Emergency and Coordinating Minnesota’s Strategy to Protect Minnesotans from COVID-19 https://www.leg.state.mn.us/archive/execorders/20-01.pdf 

Executive Order 20-74: Continuing to Safely Reopen Minnesota’s Economy and Ensure Safe NonWork Activities during the COVID-19 Peacetime Emergency https://www.leg.state.mn.us/archive/execorders/20-74.pdf

Executive Order 20-81: Requiring Minnesotans to Wear a Face Covering in Certain Settings to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 https://mn.gov/governor/assets/EO%2020-81%20Final%20Filed_tcm1055-441323.pdf 

All other Executive Orders


#StayHomeMN - from the Office of Governor Tim Walz & Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan

#StayHomeMN Frequently Asked Questions

COVID-19 – Minnesota Department of Health

Reducing Food Waste through Donation