COVID-19

Covid Header

The City of Forest Lake is coordinating closely with our partners at Washington County and the Minnesota Department of Health and following their recommendations for our response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  To assist residents in locating the most up to date information on COVID-19 we have assembled links to County, State, and Federal agencies.  The Minnesota Department of Health has also set up a hotline for questions.  The hotline is open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday at 651-201-3920.

Live Stream Link Change due to Remote Meetings (updated 5/19/2020)

While the city is holding remote meetings due to the COVID-19 pandemic, live streams for all City Council and commission meetings will be live-streamed on the city’s YouTube livestream feed found here: at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfUyh7qZScScZ4KGedRrZBg.  Please note that this a change from our usual streaming service, so please use the above link.  Once the city returns to in-person meetings, the city will resume its previous streaming service.

Open Forum Update: Due to the need to hold remote meetings, we are also making a change to the open forum process. Residents who wish to participate in the open forum are asked to submit written comments to info@ci.forest-lake.mn.us please specify “open forum” in the subject line of the email so staff knows it is for the open forum. Comments will then be read into the record during the open forum portion of the meeting.

Upcoming Public Meetings and Events
All non-essential events and reservations in City-owned facilities have been canceled until further notice.  Meetings of the City Council which need to be held will be remote via phone or other electronic means.  These meetings will continue to be livestreamed on the city’s website www.cityofforestlake.com.

City Hall (Updated 6/1/2020)

As of June 1, 2020, the Forest Lake City Center is once again open to members of the public.  City hall will be open from 8-4:30 Monday through Friday.  We ask that members of the public follow social distancing guidelines when in the City Center.

Members of the public who wish to conduct their business with the city remotely will still be able to by either contacting staff directly or by using one of the channels below.  

 General Information: info@ci.forest-lake.mn.us
 Non Emergency Police: 651-464-5877
 Emergency Police: 911
 Emergency Fire: 911
 Building Inspections: 651-464-4349
 General Building Permit Information: FLinspections@ci.forest-lake.mn.us
 Public Works Utility: 651-209-9743
 Public Works Streets/Parks: 651-209-9729
 Utility Billing: 651-255-0970

Building Department
Until further notice the Building Department will prohibit scheduling of interior inspections of occupied buildings.  The City of Forest Lake is committed to serve the City and its citizens during this unprecedented time and will continue to schedule inspections for all exterior and construction projects where the home is not inhabited. If your building in occupied and you feel an interior inspection is needed due to unique circumstances please contact the building department at 651-464-3550 to discuss your situation.

Refuse/Recycling
Update from Republic regarding services

COVID-19 Weblinks and Agency Phone Numbers



Washington County Public Health and Environment


Minnesota Department of Health


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)


Business and Unemployment Resources (updated 5-04-2020)



County Resources


  • Open to Business - Access local technical and financial resources to assist your business. 

Children and Family Resources:

MN DEED Resources


Unemployment Resources


Federal Resources


City of Forest Lake Information

Event Cancellations: (updated 6-9-2020)


Food Distribution at the YMCA (updated 4-13-2020)

Beginning today (Monday), free food distribution at the Y will include FRESH PREPARED MEALS provided in partnership with United Health Group who is cooking these healthy meals at their corporate kitchens, NEWTRAX who is delivering to our Y, and Loaves and Fishes as our distribution organization. Here is what I need you to know (and share):

o   NEW PICK UP TIMES: Monday-Friday from NOON-2:00 (fresh, healthy food creates added logistics for which we needed to reduce hours of distribution to ensure safety of food and social distancing).

o   HEALTHY FOODS: Tins will typically have a meat, veg, and potato. Most will feed 4-6 people and require re-heating from home. We will also have bag lunches.

o   DELIVERY:  If someone needs a delivery, we have several options that include Washington County / Met Council partnership or our local volunteers. For arrangements, contact Derek at 763-717-1836.


Declaration of  Local Emergency (updated 3-20-2020)


On March 19th the Forest Lake City Council approved a Declaration of Emergency for the City of Forest Lake due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. The declaration of a local emergency is an important first step in ensuring that the city is fully prepared to respond to an increase in local COVID-19 cases should the need arise. The declaration allows for the City to activate its Emergency Operations Center if it becomes needed. Additionally, if the cost of the response exceeds local resources, the city will be able to apply for state and federal emergency response dollars. The declaration also allows for the City Council and its advisory boards and commission to meet remotely (via phone or other electronic means) rather than in person. A full copy of the emergency declaration can be found here.

Declaration of Emergency (updated 3-17-2020)
Last evening, Mayor Bain signed a Declaration of Emergency for the City of Forest Lake due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. This Thursday evening, the Forest Lake City Council will vote on the Declaration of Emergency. The declaration of a local emergency is an important first step in ensuring that the city is fully prepared to respond to an increase in local COVID-19 cases should the need arise. The declaration allows for the City to activate its Emergency Operations Center if it becomes needed. Additionally, if the cost of the response exceeds local resources, the city will be able to apply for state and federal emergency response dollars. The declaration also allows for the City Council and its advisory boards and commission to meet remotely (via phone or other electronic means) rather than in person. A full copy of the emergency declaration can be found here.

The meeting on Thursday is an open meeting, however, it will be conducted electronically with the councilmembers attending remotely by calling into City Hall. Residents wishing to view the meeting will be able to do so using the city’s meeting livestream.


Forest Lake Senior Center Closed Until the end of May  (Updated 5-04-2020)


The Forest Lake Senior Center will be closed from March 16 to the end of May due to precautionary measures surrounding the Coronavirus.  All Senior Center programs have been cancelled and the Center will be closed.  The Center will reopen again at the end of May 2020.  


Safe Outdoor Recreation (updated 4-20-2020)

EO 20-38 JPEG for News Flash

Under current Executive Orders, Minnesotans may go outdoors and engage in activities such as walking, running, fishing, and hunting, as long as they are maintaining an appropriate social distance from other households.  The parks, trails and open space in Forest Lake remains open during this time, however, playgrounds are closed until further notice.

To provide additional clarity, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (“DNR”) and Minnesota Department of Health (“MDH”) have developed Outdoor Recreation and COVID-19 Guidelines for Facilities and the Public (“Outdoor Recreation Guidelines”).  https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/covid-19.html  

By following the Outdoor Recreation Guidelines, in addition to the requirements of previous Executive Orders, Minnesotans can continue to enjoy the many benefits of outdoor activities while providing for public health, slowing the spread of COVID-19, and decreasing the potential for added strain on local communities and health care systems.

Please carefully read the full Executive Order 20-38 signed on April 17, 2020 to understand safe use of the outdoor recreational amenities.  Please do your part to keep the community safe as you use parks, trails and open space in Forest Lake.

Executive Order 20-38 

New signage will be posted at City parks to serve as reminders to all who visit during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Saftey Rules         

Safety Warning


City Parks

Minnesota’s Stay Safe MN, Executive Order 20-56, encourages healthy and safe outdoor activities.  Minnesotan’s can continue to enjoy parks and trails by following the DNR/MDH Outdoor Recreation Guidelines, including:

·    Social gatherings not to exceed 25 individuals from different households.  

·     Practice social distancing of at least six feet between you and anyone else outside of your immediate household.

·     Assume park amenities like play structures, benches, picnic tables, etc. have not been sanitized.  Wash your hands or use sanitizer immediate after use.

Outdoor Recreation Guidelines: https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/aboutdnr/covid-19-outdoor-recreation-guidelines.html

To help residents safely enjoy the city’s trails and open space here are a few tips to follow:


  • Follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) guidance on personal hygiene prior to heading to trails: wash hands, carry hand sanitizer, do not use trails if you have symptoms, cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, etc.
  • Observe at all times the CDC’s minimum recommended social distancing of 6 feet from other people. Practice it and know what it looks like. Keep it as you walk, bike or hike.
  • Note that trail and park users will find public restrooms closed — be prepared before you leave and time outings so that you are not dependent on public restrooms.
  • Bring water—public drinking fountains should not be used.

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