3 more Minnesota cities approve mandatory face masks

The cities join a growing list of places in Minnesota that will require masks in public indoor spaces.

The City of Duluth is among the latest in Minnesota to require face masks in public areas.

The Duluth City Council unanimously passed the resolution Monday. Council members pointed to other cities that had already taken similar action. Under the order, Duluth residents must wear face coverings in indoor public places of accommodation or face a possible fine.

Duluth is also home to Essentia Health, which encouraged the council to approve the measure, said Council Member Janet Kennedy.

“We know that it’s here. We knew that it’s coming here,” Kennedy said at the meeting. “We do know we want to be proactive about it and that masks will help.”

St. Louis County has had reported 238 COVID-19 cases and 16 deaths as of Monday.

The Minnetonka City Council also took unanimous action to implement a mask requirement Monday. And on Tuesday, the city of Excelsior's order requiring everyone in the city to wear a face covering went into effect. 

Minnesota cities including Winona, Edina, Rochester, Minneapolis and St. Paul have already implemented face mask requirements. The University of Minnesota and St. Cloud State University will also require masks on campus come fall.

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Gov. Tim Walz has faced increasing pressure to issue a statewide mandate. More than 20 states that already have, according to NPR.

Groups including the Minnesota Medical Association and the Retail Industry Leaders Association have urged Walz to take action. In a weekly video update, Bloomington mayor Tim Busse also voiced support of a statewide order.

“A statewide order is much better than a patchwork of city requirements,” Busse said. 

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