Businesses, community members react to Minnesota's mask mandate ending

Gov. Tim Walz is ending the state’s mask mandate after federal health officials recommend that fully vaccinated people don’t have to wear masks in most situations.

Posted: May 14, 2021 5:18 PM
Updated: May 14, 2021 7:51 PM

ROCHESTER, Minn. - If you’re fully vaccinated you can now walk around mostly mask-free in Minnesota. Gov. Tim Walz is ending the state’s mask mandate after federal health officials recommend that fully vaccinated people don’t have to wear masks in most situations.

Businesses are able to make their own decisions about whether to ask customers or employees to mask up. At Chester’s Kitchen & Bar in Rochester staff will follow the updated guidelines.

Previously the mask mandate was set to expire in Minnesota on July 1st or when 70% of Minnesotans older than 15 have received at least one shot of vaccine.

Executive chef Derek Jensen says the lifted restrictions caught everyone a bit off guard but the restaurant will be fine with employees and customers taking off masks as long as they are fully vaccinated.

He says that will be monitored on the honor system. While Chester’s is allowing the mask-less potion Jensen believes people will still opt to wear them.

He explained, “For us specifically, in the shadow of the Mayo Clinic, a lot of people are coming here with illnesses and they're going to be concerned. I still think we'll see a lot of masks going forward. I wouldn't be surprised. I've talked to a couple of people who are vaccinated; they still plan on wearing their mask.”

Minnesota health officials are still encouraging mask-wearing among those who are not fully vaccinated although that guidance doesn’t have the legal force of a mandate.

Cathleen Johnson from Chatfield spoke with KIMT about the change and after excitedly ripping off her mask she said, “What I do hope is the people who aren't vaccinated will respect those who are and continue to wear the mask to protect themselves and others but those of us that are vaccinated I just feel like it's time.”

Preet Sidhu from the Twin Cities also said he’s looking forward to having the option to take his mask off after being fully vaccinated and hopes others will see the new guidelines as an incentive.

He explained, “It should encourage people who are not vaccinated to join the crowd and wear no mask inside or the risk themselves. So, I think it's a good idea.”

We’re, of course, not getting rid of masks entirely. The CDC says regardless of vaccination status masks should still be worn in crowded indoor settings like airplanes and hospitals.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 603876

Reported Deaths: 7610
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1247791772
Ramsey52449895
Dakota46780470
Anoka42709458
Washington27396290
Stearns22549224
St. Louis18123312
Scott17540134
Wright16404148
Olmsted13387102
Sherburne1200094
Carver1065948
Clay825492
Rice8186110
Blue Earth762343
Crow Wing681494
Kandiyohi667285
Chisago619252
Otter Tail585684
Benton582898
Goodhue483373
Douglas475381
Mower470733
Winona461151
Itasca458963
Isanti439664
McLeod429761
Morrison424462
Nobles407950
Beltrami407160
Steele397416
Polk389072
Becker386555
Lyon363853
Carlton352656
Freeborn346932
Pine335023
Nicollet330945
Mille Lacs311454
Brown307840
Le Sueur297125
Cass285632
Todd285632
Meeker263042
Waseca237823
Martin234932
Roseau210821
Wabasha20783
Hubbard196041
Dodge18773
Renville182446
Redwood176338
Houston174016
Cottonwood167124
Wadena162723
Fillmore157410
Faribault154319
Chippewa153938
Pennington153820
Kanabec146828
Sibley146810
Aitkin138637
Watonwan13589
Rock128719
Jackson122612
Pipestone116626
Yellow Medicine114920
Pope11296
Murray107010
Swift106918
Koochiching94917
Stevens92411
Clearwater89116
Marshall88717
Wilkin83112
Lake83020
Lac qui Parle75622
Big Stone6044
Grant5938
Lincoln5843
Mahnomen5669
Norman5479
Kittson49022
Unassigned48093
Red Lake4017
Traverse3755
Lake of the Woods3453
Cook1720

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 370654

Reported Deaths: 6041
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk58194638
Linn21186339
Scott20290246
Black Hawk16075312
Woodbury15231230
Johnson1461085
Dubuque13501211
Dallas1128599
Pottawattamie11218173
Story1070848
Warren583691
Clinton561493
Cerro Gordo553293
Sioux516974
Webster515194
Muscatine4876106
Marshall486476
Des Moines466970
Wapello4333122
Buena Vista426140
Jasper420972
Plymouth402881
Lee381956
Marion365976
Jones300857
Henry294137
Bremer287760
Carroll286852
Boone268334
Crawford267740
Benton259255
Washington256651
Dickinson249444
Mahaska232351
Jackson225242
Clay216527
Kossuth216166
Tama211771
Delaware210943
Winneshiek197935
Page194522
Buchanan193233
Cedar192123
Hardin187344
Fayette186443
Wright185940
Hamilton181851
Harrison179973
Clayton171057
Butler166035
Madison164419
Mills163324
Floyd163042
Cherokee159438
Lyon158841
Poweshiek156936
Allamakee152652
Hancock150134
Iowa149824
Winnebago144331
Cass139155
Calhoun138913
Grundy137133
Emmet135841
Jefferson133535
Shelby131437
Sac130820
Union129935
Louisa129749
Appanoose129049
Mitchell126643
Chickasaw124517
Franklin123323
Guthrie123032
Humboldt119526
Palo Alto113623
Howard104922
Montgomery103638
Clarke100924
Keokuk96432
Monroe96230
Unassigned9540
Ida91535
Adair87332
Pocahontas85822
Davis85225
Monona82931
Osceola79016
Greene78011
Lucas77923
Worth7598
Taylor66712
Fremont6269
Decatur6159
Ringgold56324
Van Buren56318
Wayne54423
Audubon52910
Adams3444
Rochester
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 63°
Mason City
Clear
58° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 58°
Albert Lea
Partly Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 61°
Austin
Partly Cloudy
59° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 59°
Charles City
Partly Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 61°
Tracking storm chances later this week
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Superintendent Muñoz says goodbye to RPS, shares update on boundary exceptions

Image

RPS Superintendent Muñoz says goodbye to RPS

Image

RPS updates plans for boundary changes

Image

Dangers with Drought

Image

Minnesota Emergency Declaration

Image

MAYO Heritage Hall Reopens

Image

Gates of Rochester Shooting

Image

Rochester selected as a finalist in the 2021 Global Mayors Challenge

Image

How to deal with Pondweed

Image

Motorcycle Awareness

Community Events