Governor Walz Signs Executive Order Requiring Face Masks
I'm pretty sure most people could see this coming, but it's official now, Minnesota Governor Walz signs an Executive Order about the use of face masks today.
Executive Order 20-81 says that Minnesotans must wear a face covering "in indoor businesses and indoor public settings." Minnesota is one of 30 states that have similar face mask requirements.
“Until there is a widely available vaccine, wearing a mask is one of the best tools we have for limiting the spread of COVID-19 and its harmful impacts,” said Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Commissioner Jan Malcolm in a statement.
The face mask requirement will be effective starting on Saturday, July 25th. "People 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 according to state officials. Also, children under 5 are exempt from the order.
The order says that any individual that "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 can also be fined for violating the order with up to a $1000 fine and/or 90 days in the slammer.
The Governor said, "there’s no better way to demonstrate our Minnesotan values than by wearing a mask. By combatting the spread of COVID-19, masking will help protect our neighbors, keep our businesses open, and get us on track to return to the activities we love.”
Walz was getting pressure from several state groups and associations to issue such a mandate, including hospitals, doctors, and retail.