Minnesota health officials back statewide mask mandate

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Health experts are urging Gov. Tim Walz to require masks in public statewide amid concerns that the spike in coronavirus cases elsewhere could happen in Minnesota.

Governors in several states that are seeing rising numbers have mandated mask use statewide. Medical groups in Minnesota and the state Health Department are backing a mandate. Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm told reporters Wednesday the evidence is increasingly clear that masks are effective.

While Minnesota has seen a slight uptick, driven partly by expanded testing, hospitalizations continue to fall and there’s still no sign of a spike. Walz says he’s reevaluating the situation daily.

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