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Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - Olmsted County has decided to implement another face mask mandate in response to the growing spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19.

Starting Wednesday, all employees and visitors will be required to wear face coverings in Olmsted County government buildings. The mandate follows the recommendations of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Olmsted County Public Health due to a determination that community transmission of the virus has reached the threshold for being rated as substantial. Almost 50 Minnesota counties are now reporting substantial or high community transmission rates.

A news release from the county says a mask requirement will stay in place until further notice. Yesterday, the University of Minnesota and Minnesota State systems announced face-covering requirements along with a number of private companies, including Minnesota-based Target.

Alexander Shelegov

Meanwhile, the rising number of COVID-19 infections being reported throughout the US has apparently resulted in an increase in the number of people being vaccinated against the virus. In Olmsted County, the number of residents fully vaccinated against the infection has reached 100,000, or nearly 83 percent of people 16 years and older. Statewide, just over 3 million Minnesotans are now fully vaccinated.

The Minnesota Department of Health today reported nearly 1700 new COVID infections throughout the state. 73 of those new cases were detected in Olmsted County.

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Wow! Check out how Rochester has changed throughout the years in these Google photos.

As we are soaring down Hwy 52, it is hard to imagine what life was like in our town before the Target store was built where it is today. Or the house that you live in now, at one point in town, that wasn't there. In fact, Rochester has grown so fast throughout the years, most of our houses weren't even around 50 years ago! Don't believe me? Look through these photos to get a glimpse of what Rochester was like years ago.