Community responds to Rochester's reinstated mask mandate

The city of Rochester has reinstated a mask mandate; Mayor Kim Norton signed a declaration of local emergency which is in effect now through Friday.

Posted: Aug 17, 2021 3:31 PM
Updated: Aug 18, 2021 12:26 PM

ROCHESTER, Minn. - The city of Rochester has reinstated a mask mandate; Mayor Kim Norton signed a declaration of local emergency which is in effect now through Friday.

The mandate is required in all indoor public settings where there are medically vulnerable individuals or children under the age of 12.

Mayor Norton explained that includes, “Schools, museums, places where children congregate. Also, where parents might take children. I think there may be a desire by some businesses to have hours for adults-only over 12 and areas where people can bring children and everyone can mask. We're leaving that up to the businesses to decide how they want to manage that. Really the goal here was to narrow the focus to protect children.”

The declaration comes as the CDC is recommending masks be worn by both vaccinated and unvaccinated people in indoor settings where there are high rates of transmission.

“That's where we've been for two weeks now so it seems silly to keep waiting for something to change when we know the change is potentially worse, not better,” said Norton.

The city says another reason for the mask mandate is because the Med-City lives in the shadow of the Mayo Clinic and with thousands of visitors coming to the area daily, many with underlying medical conditions, it's important every visitor feel safe.

Barb Davis from St. Paul says she supports the mask mandate. Davis explained, “I'm immunocompromised and I know far too many people who have already had breakthrough infections and I want to protect children who can't get vaccinated yet. I have a 2-year-old granddaughter and I would do anything to protect her from this virus.”

While visitors like Matt and Jake Miller from Stillwater do say they’re tired of masking. Matt said, “It seems like it's harder to put up with the second time around.”

He did add it’s the simple and right thing to do regardless of the inconvenience saying, “I do understand it's an issue that's spreading and it is important to control it so I guess if we have to do our part we will.”

Lynn Levinson from Chicago agrees saying, ”Whatever we can do, we should. If it's wearing masks I have no problem with it.”

And Joanne Westphal from Travis City, Michigan also added, “I think we really have to follow a mask mandate until we get the COVID virus under control and especially with the new delta variant. Its infection rate is telling its own story.”

However, there are still some who don’t agree with the mandate or believe in the science.

JustoDaGod from Chicago said, “It's a fraud. COVID is a fraud, COVID-19, coniferous virus, whatever you want to call it is a fraud.”

The emergency declaration is a bit different in that adult-only business such as bars and many gyms don’t necessarily have to comply with the order but it is strongly encouraged.

The mandate is in effect until Friday at 10:15 AM at which point the Rochester City Council will have to decide if they want to keep it in effect through October 18.

However, the council can continuously monitor the local transmission levels and decide to stop the mandate if members believe it’s no longer necessary.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 755401

Reported Deaths: 8531
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1513291905
Ramsey62614972
Dakota56158520
Anoka53010513
Washington33145327
Stearns27922252
St. Louis23178352
Scott21316159
Wright20879170
Olmsted17821118
Sherburne15232111
Carver1336954
Clay1006598
Rice9855131
Blue Earth949559
Crow Wing9254105
Kandiyohi819195
Chisago816662
Otter Tail7807104
Benton7363108
Beltrami633276
Mower631740
Douglas616189
Goodhue603683
Winona603653
Itasca596978
McLeod580868
Steele572425
Isanti558172
Morrison541565
Becker518762
Polk502577
Freeborn480842
Nobles477052
Lyon444456
Carlton438666
Nicollet423051
Pine419930
Cass413142
Mille Lacs403565
Brown398846
Todd389336
Le Sueur378331
Meeker350452
Waseca322629
Martin316534
Wabasha28495
Hubbard283644
Dodge26819
Roseau258924
Fillmore236312
Redwood234143
Wadena230229
Houston229017
Renville224249
Faribault214630
Pennington213227
Sibley204512
Cottonwood193027
Kanabec187130
Chippewa185839
Aitkin178442
Watonwan168711
Pope15328
Rock153219
Yellow Medicine151120
Jackson144114
Koochiching137219
Clearwater133318
Swift132619
Pipestone131627
Marshall131419
Murray131310
Stevens122311
Lake106221
Wilkin100214
Lac qui Parle95024
Mahnomen86312
Norman8459
Big Stone7874
Grant7669
Lincoln7525
Kittson59522
Red Lake5769
Unassigned528124
Traverse5005
Lake of the Woods4524
Cook2420

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
50° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 50°
Mason City
Clear
45° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 41°
Albert Lea
Partly Cloudy
46° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 46°
Austin
Partly Cloudy
45° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 45°
Charles City
Partly Cloudy
50° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 50°
Plenty of sunshine through the weekend
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Our Lady of Guadalupe statue returns

Image

Breast cancer awareness walk

Image

Full Sunday Forecast 10/17/21

Image

Afghan Evacuee Coat Drive

Image

Cans For Kids Event

Image

ROCHESTER RECORD SHOW

Image

RONALD MCDONALD CANS FOR KIDS

Image

THE LANDING FOOD AND CLOTHING DRIVE

Image

Full Saturday Forecast 10/16/21

Image

Growing ghouls grab hallowing candy during "Trunk or Treat Fall Festival"

Community Events