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Governor orders masking – Click here for details

By Staff | Jul 22, 2020

Governor Walz Signs Executive Order on Masking

Governor Tim Walz today signed Executive Order 20-81, which requires Minnesotans to wear a face covering in indoor businesses and indoor public settings. Researchers have advocated for masking, calling it a simple and effective step to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. To date, 30 states across the country, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico have issued similar mandates.

The mandate goes into effect on ?Saturday, July 25. DEED and MDH will be working together to distribute masks to underserved communities and businesses across the state. Over the past several weeks, business owners and medical professionals have been showing their support for a mask mandate, saying it takes the burden off them to enforce people’s behaviors.

Individuals with a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that makes it unreasonable for the individual to maintain a face covering are exempt from the order. This includes, but is not limited to, individuals who have a medical condition that compromises their ability to breathe, and individuals who are unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove a face covering without assistance. These individuals should consider using alternatives to face coverings, including clear face shields, and staying at home as much as possible.

Children who are five-years-old and under are also exempt. Those who are under two-years-old should never wear a face covering due to the risk of suffocation.

While the goal of this Executive Order is voluntary compliance, not enforcement, any individual who willfully violates this Executive Order is guilty of a petty misdemeanor and upon conviction can be punished by a fine not to exceed $100. ?Businesses willfully violating this Executive Order are guilty of a misdemeanor and can be punished by a fine not to exceed $1,000 or up to 90 days in jail. The Attorney General, as well as city and county attorneys, may also seek civil penalties from businesses who are in violation of this Executive Order.

The mandate will have the full force and effect of law upon the approval of the Executive Council, which is made up of Governor Walz, Lt. Governor Flanagan, Attorney General Ellison, Secretary of State Simon, and State Auditor Blaha.

For information and resources on the mask mandate, including frequently asked questions, visit mn.gov/COVID19.