Minnesota Following CDC Guidance and Dropping Mask Mandate
Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - Minnesota’s face mandate is ending much sooner than expected.
Governor Tim Walz has announced he plans to sign a new executive order Friday morning that will cancel the mask mandate for people who have been vaccinated against COVID-19. The new order will reflect the guidance issued this afternoon by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that, for those vaccinated, erases the need to wear face coverings in most circumstances.
According to the CDC, the mandate remains in effect for "crowded indoor settings, including buses, planes, hospitals, prisons, and homeless shelters." Governor Walz also made it clear that individual businesses have the option to continue requiring the masks.
Minnesota Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm says she has mixed feelings about the move, even with the progress the state has made in the COVID-19 vaccination effort. As of today, 61 percent of Minnesotans 16-years and older have had at least one dose of COVID vaccine. In Olmsted County, the latest stats indicate nearly 75-percent of Rochester area residents have had at least one shot of vaccine.
Governor Walz earlier announced the mask mandate would be rescinded by July 1st. He also left open the possibility it could be dropped before that if the percentage of Minnesotans 16-years and older reached 70-percent.