Minnesota governor classifies food distribution workers as emergency workers amid COVID-19 outbreak

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has classified food distribution workers including store clerks, stockers and others as Tier 2 Emergency workers amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Minnesota Grocers Association. 

The reclassification allows these workers, who are on the frontlines of the pandemic, childcare. 

The governor signed an executive order on Sunday closing all public schools in the state to slow the spread of COVID-19. The order required schools to provide care for elementary-age children of health care professionals, first responders and other emergency workers during previously planned school days to help those workers stay on the job and help fight the coronavirus outbreak. 

The Minnesota Grocers Association has asked customers to be calm, mindful, respectful, flexible and patient as they head to grocery stores during the pandemic. 

“Prioritize your most immediate needs,” the association said in a statement. “Overbuying becomes a concern as a customer who buys more than they need prevents another customer from providing for their family.”

The association asked customers to be kind to grocery store staff as well, urging customers to “be respectful and take a moment to thank them for their amazing work and commitment to getting food to Minnesota families.”

Finally, the association told customers to expect some changes as the stores adapt to changing conditions.

“Grocers may look different in the coming days,” the statement said. “Operation hours might change, services may fluctuate and we may ask you to help.”