Coronavirus: Latest Updates in West St. Paul

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(Note: After keeping this updated for a couple weeks, the closures and changes are too widespread to document meticulously. So we’re no longer updating this page.)

The coronavirus (COVID-19) has become an official pandemic according to the World Health Organization (WHO), and we want to offer quick, factual updates to keep people informed, healthy, and reduce how quickly this virus spreads.

There’s a lot of info out there, so we’ll try to keep this short and focus on West St. Paul specifics, updated frequently as things change.

What to Do

  • Get the best info: Get your main information from local, state, and federal health agencies:
    • West St. Paul (at this point, they’re mostly pointing to other agencies)
  • Take precautions: Take appropriate precautions recommended by these agencies. These include hand washing, social distancing, staying home when you’re sick, etc.
  • Take care of each other: More than anything, this is about slowing the spread of the virus to help those who will be most impacted.
    • Check in on your neighbors (maybe do it by phone), especially older neighbors who may need to limit their exposure.
    • Go for a walk—it’s a good way to get outside and relieve stress while still maintaining social distancing.
    • Support local businesses who might be hit hard by people staying home (gift cards might be a good way to do that).
    • There’s a great Google Doc being used to coordinate local needs and offers to help.

Market uncertainty and closings can boost our anxiety, but there’s no need to panic. We’ll have to weather some changes, but we can get through this together (appropriately socially distanced, but still together).

Update from Mayor Dave Napier

On Thursday, March 12, the city released a message from Mayor Dave Napier outlining recommendations.

“Thank you for your support and understanding as we work through this health challenge. Be assured the city will be relying heavily on guidance from MDH and CDC and we will do our very best to keep the community informed and to continue to provide services to the community.”

Mayor Dave Napier

On Tuesday, March 17, the city announced additional closures:

“We understand some may feel these changes are unnecessary or go too far. The truth is, as we enter these unprecedented times, we
may never know if we over prepared, but the ramifications of under preparedness could be devastating. With that in mind, we are
taking all necessary precautions. Please know that the City of West St. Paul appreciates your patience in the coming weeks and months.”

On Friday, March 20, Mayor Napier declared a state of emergency in West St. Paul and released this video with updates.

West St. Paul Closings & Cancelations

We’ll try to update closings and cancelations in West St. Paul and surrounding communities. (Let us know if you hear of a closing we’ve missed.)

Governor Tim Walz declared a “peacetime emergency” on Friday, March 13. On Sunday, March 15 he ordered all K-12 public schools to close by Wednesday, March 18 and remain closed through March 27. On March 16, President Donald Trump recommended no social gatherings of more than 10 people. On March 25 Walz issued a ‘stay home’ order through April 10.

All schools and churches should be closed (so we’re no longer listing them individually).

West St. Paul Closings

Note: This is no longer being updated and may not be current.

  • Dakota County – All public-facing county services are closed, including libraries all events at county parks and libraries are cancelled through April 19.
  • Dodge Nature Center and Preschool – Facilities are closed and events and programs are cancelled through April 4.
  • ISD 197School will be closed from Tuesday, March 17 through Friday, April 3. There’s also a full list of cancelled and postponed activities within the school district, though given that’s school is closed, it’s presumed that all activities are cancelled. Get the latest updates from ISD 197.
  • Thompson Park Activity Center – They are indefinitely closed.
  • West St. Paul – Just about everything from the city is closed to the public as of March 18. Business will still happen, but any interactions with the public will need to happen online or via phone. The March 23 City Council meeting will be virtual, with an opportunity to call in for citizen comments/public hearings (the Open Council Work Session is cancelled).
  • West St. Paul Planning Commission – Both the official meeting and the scheduled training on March 17 are cancelled. The items on the agenda will be addressed at the March 23 City Council meeting.
  • West St. Paul Sports DomeClosed until further notice.
  • West St. Paul Town Hall Meetings – Scheduled for March 19 and 21, postponed out of an abundance of caution.

West St. Paul Business Changes

On Monday, March 16, Governor Walz ordered all bars, restaurants, gyms, coffee shops, breweries, and other venues to close to dine-in guests through March 27. Take out and delivery service is still available—many places are happy to run something out to your car. The order includes spas, hair salons, barbers, nail salons, tattoo, tanning, massage, and just about any close-proximity beauty treatment. At this point, let’s assume businesses in West St. Paul are following that order and we’ll note any variations:

Note: This is no longer being updated and may not be current.

  • 5-8 – Starting March 18, they’re offering takeout from noon to 8 p.m.
  • Amore – Starting Friday, March 20, they’ll be offering only car-side/window pickup and delivery. They’ve also changed their hours, with to-go orders from 5:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and delivery from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
  • Anytime Fitness – Temporarily closed. They are pointing to their app and Facebook live for at-home workouts.
  • Baker’s SquareFree delivery.
  • Beirut Restaurant – They’ve added free delivery within a 10-mile range, using waitstaff as drivers (so tip generously). They’ve also modified their menu.
  • BLVDChanging their hours to 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. No weekend breakfast menu.
  • Carbone’s Pizzeria – Launched free delivery (with a $20 minimum). They’re also changing hours to 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Cherokee Tavern – They’re offering a special take out fish fry on Friday, March 20 from 4 to 7 p.m.
  • Cub FoodsChanged their hours to 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., also following the first hour for high-risk shoppers and first responders and health care workers.
  • El CubanoChanged their hours to 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday, take out only.
  • El TaquitoChanged their hours to 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., take out and delivery.
  • FiresideChanged their hours to 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, take out only.
  • FoodSmith – Completely closing until further notice.
  • Granny DonutsClosed at least through March.
  • Grocery Stores – While not West St. Paul specific, the Minnesota Grocers Association is encouraging stores to limit the first hour of business to “the elderly, immunocompromised, healthcare staff, and first responders.” Don’t know if all West St. Paul stores are encouraging that (Cub and Oxendale’s are), but it might be a good practice to follow anyway.
  • ISD 197 Breakfast & Lunch – The school sent out this update about meals: “Starting Wednesday, March 18, every School District 197 school as well as Community of Saints will offer “grab and go” breakfast and lunch any time from 8:30 to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Friday from their front entrances. This is available to all students 18 and under. Students do not need to go to their school; instead, they can go to any school in the district or Community of Saints to pick up their meals.”
  • Jersey Mike’s Subs – They’ve added curbside pickup and free delivery.
  • Legacy American Martial Arts – Following the school closures, they will close starting March 18 but will be using Facebook streaming and YouTube videos to continue class.
  • Mike’s Butcher Shop – They are encouraging phone orders and have put a 5-pound limit on ground beef purchases.
  • Oxendale’sChanged their hours to 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., and they’re requesting that the first hour of business (7 to 8 a.m.) be for “at risk shoppers only.”
  • Pace’s Tire and Service Center – Closing Saturdays.
  • Picture Perfect Art & Frame – They launched a coloring contest with free framing as the prize.
  • Sarpino’s Pizzeria – Instituted contactless delivery and pickup (with instructions).
  • Planet Fitness – Temporarily closed. The national chain is offering daily live streamed workouts for anyone (not just members).
  • Tappers – Temporarily closed.
  • Thai PepperFree delivery through March 30.
  • West St. Paul Bingo PalaceClosed until further notice.
  • YMCAClosing regular fitness center and events to focus on community support and childcare.

Nearby Closings

Note: This is no longer being updated and may not be current.

  • 360 Communities – various – Food shelf and resource centers are closing to the shopper model, but will still offer a pre-pack model. Call ahead to pick up or donate food.
  • Neighborhood House – St. Paul – Events are canceled, but the Food Markets are still open.
  • Neighbors, Inc. – South St. Paul – Their thrift store is closed and they’re limited interaction, but food shelf pickup will still happen, though they’re asking people to call ahead and schedule pickups.
  • St. Paul Public LibrariesClosed March 16-27.

Surrounding Events:

Note: This is no longer being updated and may not be current.

  • Cinco De Mayo – St. Paul – The annual Cinco De Mayo event on the West Side has been postponed.
  • Local political conventions – The DFL party has has postponed all conventions scheduled March 14 to May 1. They’re also prohibiting any DFL-sponsored gathering of more than 25 people during that same time. They plan to do virtual conventions in April. The Republican party has postponed local and congressional district conventions through April 15.
  • Teen Lit Con – Mendota Heights – Scheduled for April 25 at Henry Sibley High School, it was cancelled on March 13.

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4 comments

  1. Thank you so much for your communication service to our community. This is definitely a time for all of us to pull together during this very serious crisis. Although MN is a leader in being proactive, the massive incompetence on the national level has plagued us (no pun intended) with uncertainty and fear. Most citizens now realize how completely unprepared the current administration is, due to their inept actions as this virus has taken hold. I have been watching Dr. Anthony Fauci’s press conferences online. He is the voice of reason and clear information in the middle of this tornado of Rump spin. Rump’s lies never end. But everyone cannot access Fauci’s information. You may want to incorporate it into some of your updating. And ultimately, may God help us all. Thank you.

    1. Carol, thanks for the suggestion. I’ve covered the basics of precautions and linked the various agencies for full details. I don’t want to get into a situation of needlessly repeating or inadvertently messing up those recommendations, so I’d rather people go directly to the CDC.

  2. It may be worth updating the “West Saint Paul Businesses” section with respect to the “stay at home” order. Or maybe pull it out into its own post for easier updating going forward.

    1. Hey Troy, thanks for the reminder. There have just been too many changes and updates to keep up with it (and at this point, it might be easier to list what’s open). So at this point I’m going to call it and stop the updates. I’ll do a separate, new post if there are changes or updates to focus on.

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