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: 758252

Reported Deaths: 8560
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1517551909
Ramsey62763976
Dakota56337523
Anoka53221514
Washington33236329
Stearns28036252
St. Louis23286353
Scott21359159
Wright20944170
Olmsted17894118
Sherburne15291114
Carver1342954
Clay1011798
Rice9886131
Blue Earth953059
Crow Wing9298105
Kandiyohi822796
Chisago820862
Otter Tail7868104
Benton7393109
Beltrami637177
Mower635340
Douglas618089
Goodhue608584
Winona605253
Itasca602380
McLeod583468
Steele574525
Isanti560073
Morrison546065
Becker521062
Polk503477
Freeborn482642
Nobles477952
Lyon447556
Carlton440966
Nicollet426451
Pine421130
Cass415942
Mille Lacs406765
Brown400947
Todd391836
Le Sueur380431
Meeker351552
Waseca323730
Martin318534
Wabasha28655
Hubbard284544
Dodge26939
Roseau260325
Fillmore238212
Redwood235643
Wadena231429
Houston229117
Renville225149
Faribault215730
Pennington213727
Sibley205112
Cottonwood194027
Kanabec187630
Chippewa186940
Aitkin179242
Watonwan169311
Pope15378
Rock153719
Yellow Medicine151720
Jackson144814
Koochiching137519
Clearwater133718
Swift132819
Marshall132319
Pipestone131927
Murray131510
Stevens122811
Lake106521
Wilkin100814
Lac qui Parle95724
Mahnomen87412
Norman8519
Big Stone7894
Grant7689
Lincoln7575
Kittson59922
Red Lake5789
Unassigned541124
Traverse5035
Lake of the Woods4574
Cook2430

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 467281

Reported Deaths: 6685
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk73698716
Linn28680379
Scott24441271
Black Hawk20130355
Woodbury18854242
Johnson17800100
Dubuque15577228
Pottawattamie14073197
Dallas13894107
Story1275148
Warren763496
Webster6876111
Cerro Gordo6816107
Clinton6814100
Des Moines657893
Marshall635484
Muscatine6294113
Wapello5807136
Jasper571478
Lee560787
Sioux560276
Marion499791
Buena Vista489745
Plymouth459187
Henry378647
Jones365160
Washington362255
Bremer353867
Benton352056
Boone344837
Carroll341753
Crawford337345
Mahaska313656
Dickinson297651
Clay274631
Buchanan274239
Jackson270445
Kossuth269373
Hardin266448
Tama261476
Fayette253848
Delaware253444
Cedar246326
Page244827
Wright240945
Winneshiek230837
Hamilton228553
Floyd216744
Harrison215277
Madison214325
Clayton210058
Poweshiek206840
Iowa204229
Butler203237
Jefferson197340
Mills197227
Allamakee192952
Cherokee191943
Lyon190641
Cass190557
Winnebago185432
Hancock184739
Calhoun184115
Appanoose175950
Shelby174239
Louisa169651
Grundy167937
Emmet163842
Franklin163328
Humboldt161826
Mitchell161843
Union159437
Chickasaw156418
Sac156323
Guthrie154034
Palo Alto140831
Clarke140028
Montgomery138941
Keokuk137534
Monroe131534
Howard125422
Ida116641
Davis113825
Greene113712
Lucas112224
Pocahontas109323
Monona107436
Worth10678
Adair103634
Osceola91117
Fremont83711
Van Buren82721
Decatur81212
Taylor78612
Wayne72024
Ringgold66827
Audubon64514
Adams4984
Unassigned150
Rochester
Clear
55° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 55°
Mason City
Mostly Cloudy
53° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 53°
Albert Lea
Partly Cloudy
54° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 54°
Austin
Partly Cloudy
54° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 54°
Charles City
Mostly Cloudy
55° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 55°
Showers and storms expected on Wednesday
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Community Events