Mask mandates lifted in Twin Cities except for City-managed buildings

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Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter both announced this week that they were lifting the mask mandates for indoor public areas. The mandates had been in place since Jan. 5.

The former regulation required patrons, employees, and visitors to wear a mask in any indoor locations where members of the public gather including bars, restaurants, museums, theaters, schools, recreational facilities, retail spaces, and service offices.

Rates of COVID-19 infection in the metro area, and across the nation, have been dropping rapidly and steadily. In Minneapolis, the positivity rates dropped below the high-risk threshold based on the latest reported data. The current seven-day average data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for Ramsey County shows a decrease of 56.36% in cases and a 14.71% decline in new hospital admissions.

“Encouraging downward trends have improved our outlook significantly since January,” said Mayor Carter. “I urge our community to continue following public health guidance and keep our momentum going.”

Although not mandated, masks continue to be strongly recommended in public indoor settings, consistent with the CDC. Individual organizations may still require masks. Also, mask mandates will continue to be enforced for employees and City-managed buildings. Visitors and employees in City-managed buildings are still required to wear masks. 

Face coverings also continue to be required by the CDC on public transportation, including school buses.

Local health officials will continue to closely monitor the situation to remain nimble if there is a shift in indicators such as case rates, percent of positivity, hospitalization rates, and hospital bed capacity.

Vaccines are still the strongest defense against COVID-19, according to health officials. Learn more about vaccine safety and find a vaccine appointment by going to mn.gov/covid19/vaccine/find-vaccine/index.jsp.

The City of Minneapolis will continue to make masks available to businesses and organizations at no cost. Masks may be requested by emailing the City’s Health Department at health@minneapolismn.gov.

Information provided by the City of Minneapolis and the City of St. Paul.