(St. Paul, MN) – Governor Tim Walz announced a statewide mask mandate Wednesday to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.
The governor signed an executive order requiring residents in Minnesota to wear a face covering in all public indoor spaces and indoor businesses. A face covering could be a disposable or cloth mask, scarf, bandanna, or religious face covering.
The order will take effect on Saturday, July 25 at midnight.
There are exemptions that allow for removing a face covering temporarily:
Where are masks required?
State health officials strongly recommend masks in the following settings:
Will school children be required to wear masks?
Children age 5 and under are exempt from the new mandate. Children in Kindergarten through Grade 12 are required to wear face coverings.
Here’s what Mankato Area Public Schools said about the mandate in a press release Wednesday:
“Children ages five and older participating in indoor school programming, including ACES, are required to wear a face covering beginning this weekend. Exemptions include children younger than five, and those with a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that makes it unreasonable for the individual to maintain a face covering.”
What are the penalties?
Business owners who do not comply with the order could receive fines up to $1,000 and/or 90 days in jail.
Individuals could see fines up to $100, but children younger than 14, or in high school or college are exempt.
Can a carry a gun while wearing a face covering?
Yes, if you are wearing a face covering, you may possess a handgun under a legal permit and carry in the same manner as you would otherwise.