Edina City Council has voted to extend its mandatory face mask policy in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The policy was put in place as a temporary emergency measure by Mayor Jim Hovland, but on Wednesday the city voted to extend it until either the council decided to rescind it, Gov. Walz ends the peacetime emergency, or Dec. 31 - whichever comes first.
The policy requires people to wear face masks covering their mouth and nose in all indoor public spaces with a few exceptions.
Here's a closer look at the policy:
– Face masks or cloth coverings must be worn inside businesses and city-owned public facilities.
– Restaurants must require diners to wear face coverings when not seated at their tables.
– Users of public transit are required to wear masks before boarding a bus, and keep wearing it until exiting the vehicle.
– Those at entertainment venues (ie. a movie theater) must wear a mask when within 6 feet of another person. When they are seated and not within six feet of someone else, they can remove it, but must put it back on when walking to or from their seat, or walking through public areas such as lobbies and restrooms.
– Residents of multi-family housing buildings, their guests and tenants, and employees and guests in multi-tenant office buildings must wear a face covering when in common spaces such as hallways, corridors, lobbies, restrooms, mail rooms, elevators, trash and recycling rooms, fitness rooms, recreation rooms and other space owned and used in common.
– Those who don't have to wear a mask include children under the age of 5, those who are eating and drinking, those with medical conditions that make it difficult to breathe, the deaf and hard of hearing or those who care for or interact with them, and those who can't remove a mask without help.
– Masks also don't need to be worn inside places of worship, schools, and indoor athletic facilities when social distancing can be maintained.
Hovland expressed alarm earlier this week after a spike in COVID-19 cases among the city's young people, which health officials say have been linked back to a number of parties, cabin weekends, and sports activities.
Cities including Minneapolis, St. Paul, Mankato and Rochester mandate the wearing of face masks inside public spaces, with St. Cloud considering joining them.