ST. PAUL, Minn. – Governor Tim Walz says he will sign an executive order Friday morning to end the state’s mask mandate.
The move comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended fully vaccinated people no longer needed to wear masks outdoors in crowds or in most indoor settings. Walz says Minnesotans who are not fully vaccinated are strongly recommended to wear face coverings indoors. Private businesses and local municipalities may still put in place face-covering requirements and the state's Safe Learning Plan, along with the existing face-covering guidance for schools and child care settings, remain in effect.
“This great day is possible because vaccines have proven to be effective,” says Governor Walz. “Once you are fully vaccinated you are protected. You can confidently return to the people you love and things that you miss – all without a mask. The message is clear — get vaccinated and let’s put the pandemic behind us once and for all.”
“This is an important day for Minnesota and the country,” says Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm. “With millions of doses administered, we are seeing that vaccines work and are effective. But you need to roll up your sleeves and get the shots to get the protection. Minnesotans who aren’t protected should continue to wear a mask and stay safe.”
Olmsted County Public Health issued the following statement on the new CDC guideline:
“At this time, Olmsted County will continue to follow the Governor’s order requiring mask-wearing indoors until July 1, 2021 or until the State of Minnesota hits a 70% vaccination rate. We will continue to update our residents on any changes that may come from the Governor. Olmsted County Public Health continues to be grateful to our residents for their help to put an end to this global pandemic.”
Mayo Clinic also issued a statement on mask-wearing:
“Mayo Clinic is aware of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s additional guidance for people who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The new guidance loosens restrictions associated with wearing masks indoors in certain settings and does not include health care settings at this time. At Mayo Clinic, the requirement for masking in health care facilities remains in effect, and infection control is reviewing and updating our policies continuously.”