KDMA’s own Stevie Ray had a chance to sit down with Chippewa County Sheriff Derek Olson and ask a few questions about Governor Walz’ Executive Orders to Stay At Home due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. He also asked about any potential issues locally when it comes to the Bar & Restaurant closures:

Stevie Ray: “So, a lot of people have had a lot of questions when it comes to Governor Walz’ executive orders to stay at home and the bar and restaurant closures. What is the procedure for enforcing the Stay At Home order and what would happen if someone gets stopped by authorities for non-essential travel?”

Sheriff Olson: “Those are really good questions and they are the type of questions that we have been fielding after the Governor’s press conference yesterday. Here locally, its still the status quo. We are still going to be out monitoring and assisting anyone we can. During this time with the Stay At Home order, I did see that leisure drives are still permitted.  If you do happen to be stopped it’s going to be taken as an opportunity for an educational conversation where we will advise you about the Stay At Home order for the next couple weeks. Regarding essential workforce personnel, I would ask that they have their employee I.D. on their person so they can explain the reason for their travel. Obviously, it’s essential personnel that need to be out and about.”

Stevie Ray: “As far as the Stay At Home Order is concerned, have you seen any increase or decrease in the things you typically deal with on a daily basis as law enforcement officials?”

Sheriff Olson: “That’s a good question. We have seen a few things drop but we have seen a few things go up as well. It (The Coronavirus) has been like, say, in middle of winter when we’ve had a long period of cold weather, you see things start to slow down. That’s what we’re seeing on a local level right now.”

Stevie Ray: “As far as the Bar and Restaurant closures are concerned, and without naming any names, have you had any issues locally?”

Sheriff Olson: “No, we really haven’t. At a time like this, the community members have been fantastic in making sure to communicate really well with each other. Everyone has been really good, and have been really good to work with.”

Stevie Ray: “Well, I think you’ve answered all the questions that I have. Is there anything you’d like to add?”

Sheriff Olson: “We are doing daily press releases on any changes because things are very “fluid”. Between the Sheriff’s Office, Emergency Management, Public health, and the local hospitals, we get together and put out a PSA everyday as things change. So, just continue to monitor things as they change and we will continue to get that information out there.”

For updates from the Chippewa County Sheriff’s Office regarding COvid-19, go to:

https://www.facebook.com/chippewacountysheriffsoffice/

For information on who may or may not be a critical/essential worker, go to: https://www.cisa.gov/