MN Gov Issues Statewide Mask Mandate

MN Gov Issues Statewide Mask Mandate Click to Enlarge Photo: Governor Walz's Office

(KNSI) - Governor Walz has announced that the State of Minnesota will join a growing list of other states to require masks.

Several cities announced a mandate of their own in the weeks leading up to Walz's announcement.

Walz's masking order covers the entire state, requiring the public to wear a mask in all businesses that are open to the public such as, retail stores, offices, clinics, and restaurants if they are not eating.

Governor Walz's order does not include wearing a mask when outside.

There will be some exceptions to the rule, such as small children, those who are unable to remove the mask on their own, and those with a documented medical condition that makes it challenging to wear a mask.

Walz says those individuals should consider staying home as much as possible.

"COVID-19 has impacted every corner of our state and every aspect of our lives," said Governor Walz. "But as Minnesotans always do during tough times, we come together and we take care of one another. And right now there's no better way to demonstrate our Minnesotan values than by wearing a mask. By combating the spread of COVID-19, masking will help protect our neighbors, keep our businesses open, and get us on track to return to the activities we love."

The mandate takes effect on Saturday, July 25th in all parts of the state.

Violation of the order could result in a fine of up to $100 for individuals. Businesses in violation of the order could face fines of up to $1,000 as well as civil penalties from the Attorney General and local governments.

St. Cloud voted to approve the city's own mask mandate Monday night and several area retailers have started to require masks to shop, even if the government didn't require it.