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Olmsted County Public Health is weighing in on Rochester's mask mandate

While masking will help lower the transmission, public health said everyone needs to get vaccinated.

Posted: Aug 19, 2021 6:54 AM

ROCHESTER, Minn. - Masks are officially back in Rochester. Mayor Kim Norton signed a declaration of local emergency requiring masks to be worn indoors by everyone.

Right now, Olmsted County is still in that "high" level of community transmission. Public health director, Graham Briggs, said while bringing back the masks will help lower that dial a little bit, the best thing we can do is get vaccinated.

Briggs explained the CDC is recommending that once the community transmission is below a certain level, masks will no longer be needed. "Masks help. They're going to help an addition," he said. "But we don't even really have to talk about masks if everybody is getting vaccinated."

The CDC reports more than 220 new positive COVID-19 cases in just the past week in Olmsted County. That's nearly a 30% increase from the week prior. Briggs said most of the new cases are from unvaccinated people.

Some immunocompromised people are now getting a third dose of the vaccine to stay protected. Briggs explained that should be a wake up call to how crucial the shot is. "In parts of the country now, we're seeing examples of unvaccinated families and things like that seeing loved ones die and seeing people get hospitalized. My hope is that with this uptick that we're seeing in vaccination across the country is part of unfortunately this lived experience that people are gaining now that this isn't a joke. It's real. It does kill people," he said. "And it's really, really important for people to take it seriously."

The only times a mask does not need to be worn indoors in the med city are when you're eating or drinking, you have a medical condition or children under the age of 2 do not have to wear a face covering.

The emergency declaration is in effect until Friday, the 20th. That's when the Rochester City Council will have the chance to vote on it.

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
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Albert Lea
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Austin
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Charles City
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