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Coronavirus: Edina, Mankato among cities considering mask requirements

State department of health and the CDC recommend wearing face masks to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

The city councils in Edina and Mankato will have a discussion Monday about requiring people to wear face masks to help stop the spread of COVID-19. 

The Edina City Council's agenda says it will hold a "community masking policy discussion" at its 4 p.m. meeting, noting no formal action will be taken at the meeting.

Meanwhile, at the Mankato City Council's 6 p.m. meeting, it plans to discuss either to set a public hearing date to consider an emergency ordinance to require people to wear masks in certain situations or to authorize city staff to develop a campaign that "strongly recommends" people wear face coverings in places of indoor public accommodation. 

The city of Rochester will also talk Monday about requiring face masks.

Health experts say masks play a role in protecting others from the wearer's germs, which could help slow the spread of COVID-19 at a time when cases are on the rise again in the U.S.

Since the virus spreads by respiratory droplets that travel when we talk, cough, sneeze, breathe, etc., face masks – even the homemade ones – can help contain some of those droplets, limiting the potential spread of the virus to others, especially from those who may not know they have the coronavirus. Here's how to wear one correctly.

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend people wear cloth face coverings in public, especially in places where it can be difficult to maintain a distance of six feet between you and others.

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This guidance has prompted cities like Minneapolis and St. Paul to issue orders requiring people to wear face masks when inside public spaces. And some businesses, such as Menards and Costco, have required shoppers and employees to wear masks, while places like the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport are strongly encouraging people to don a mask when in public spaces.

Last week, the Minnesota Medical Association urged state leaders to make face masks mandatory statewide in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19. Thirteen states already have mandatory mask policies.

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