As we’ve reported previously, the statewide mask mandate, ordered by Gov. Tim Walz, goes into effect on July 25. It’ll require the wearing of masks inside public places and businesses.
According to Minnesota’s health department, the types of face coverings can include a paper or disposable mask, a cloth mask, a neck gaiter, a scarf, a bandanna or religious face covering.
Health officials say the mask should cover both nose and mouth, but should also feel comfortable to wear
As far as enforcement, there are consequences if someone willfully violates the order. Individuals can be fined up to $100. Businesses could be fined up to $1,000.
However Walz said that he hopes law enforcement will be handing out masks to those not wearing one, instead of tickets.
“Just to be clear, we have an effort to get out 4 million masks to the chamber of commerce. We’ll make it easy for you. We’ll make sure the police have masks on hand, they’d rather give you a mask than a ticket. In the long run this is the quickest way to end the pandemic,” said Walz in a July 22nd news conference about the mask policy.
Health officials stress that the face mask policy does not replace other COVID-19 safety precautions. Minnesotans should continue to socially distance, wash hands, and stay inside if they believe they have been infected with COVID-19.
For more information on the face mask mandate, head to the Minnesota Health Department’s website.
Governor Tim Walz announced an Executive Order requiring face coverings for everyone in Minnesota. The order goes into effect on July 25th.
He said health experts have learned face masks that fully cover the nose and mouth are effective in limiting the spread of COVID-19 when you can’t socially distance from others.
“I believe if we could get 95% compliance on masks, and the science supports us and elsewhere, I think most of the activities we like to do we can do again except probably large crowds at bars, with people not wearing masks next to each other,” said Walz during a press conference on July 22nd.
Walz noted President Donald Trump recently changed his stance and has expressed support for masks as a way to try and halt the expected coming wave of COVID-19 cases. “The President himself said it’s patriotic to wear a mask and he himself wore one,” said Walz
The State Department of Health website has the details of the Executive Order. People are required to wear a mask in all public indoor spaces and businesses unless they are alone. Workers must wear a face covering even when working outside if it’s a situation where they can’t socially distance from others.
Some people are exempt – individuals with health conditions or developmental needs that make it difficult to keep a mask on – are not required to wear one – and children under the age of 5.
Although Luetenant Peggy Flanagan suggested parents get their children used to wearing masks because it will be a requirement if we are to have children in classrooms again. “Now is the time to help them learn that behavior – that’s just what we do and to normalize it,” said Flanagan.
Tribes, as sovereign nations, are making their own decisions about requiring face covering for people on tribal lands.