Tuesday night was a busy one for Northland communities to address mandatory mask ordinances.  The Cloquet City Council voted to put such an ordinance in place, beginning August 1.

According to our media partners at WDIO-TV, the Cloquet City Council voted 5-2 in favor an ordinance that will require masks while indoors.

As we've seen in other cities, there are exceptions to the ordinance, which include:

  • Kids under 10
  • People who can't cover their face for medical reasons
  • People in private rooms of multi-tenant places
  • Customers actively eating or drinking
  • Business owners and employees in areas that are not accessible to the public
  • Education and child care facilities
  • Fitness centers
  • Police officers, firefighters and other first responders when they are working on a public safety matter

First time violators of the ordinance would receive a warning letter.  A second violation would result in a $50 fine and a third violation would result in a $100 fine. Violations beyond that could result in criminal proceedings, according to Cloquet City Administrator Tim Peterson.

Peterson added that police involvement should only be used as a last resort and that businesses and individuals should be responsible and enforce the ordinance.

While the Cloquet ordinance will officially be in effect on August 1, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz is expected to announce his decision on a state-wide mask mandate as early as Wednesday, July 22.

He has scheduled a press conference for 2:00 p.m. and there is an expectation by many that a mandate will be announced for Minnesota.