ROCHESTER, Minn. – By a 6-1 vote, the Rochester City Council is mandating the wearing of face masks to fight the surging coronavirus pandemic.
The mask requirement will go into effect on July 8 and face masks will be mandatory in any indoor public space, such as bars, restaurants, retail stores, and public transportation.
Violating the order is not a criminal offense. However, any individual who doesn't wear a mask in applicable areas can/will be asked to leave by an authorized representative of the business or organization. If the individual refuses to leave, Rochester police may enforce trespassing laws or any other law the individual may violate.
The mask mandate will end on September 4th, when Minnesota’s peacetime emergency ends, or when Olmsted County and Mayo Clinic say it is no longer necessary.
“With infection rates on the rise locally, it’s important that we do everything we can, as a community, to keep residents and visitors safe from the COVID-19 virus," says Mayor Kim Norton. "The added benefit of protecting our businesses from another shutdown and making their environments safer for more customers makes a mask requirement the best choice right now.”
To read the official amendment to Rochester's local emergency declaration, click here.