Gov. Walz: Not wearing a mask is hurting your neighbor

Walz strongly encourages Minnesotans to wear a mask in public settings.

It isn't mandatory to wear a face mask when leaving your home in Minnesota, but Gov. Tim Walz is strongly advising everyone to wear one when visiting a place where social distancing is difficult to maintain. 

Walz's recommendation comes as he allows the Stay-at-Home order to expire Monday, being replaced by a "Stay Safe MN" order that will allow malls and other customer-facing retail stores to open at up to 50 percent capacity after being locked down since mid-March because of the COVID-19 outbreak. 

"Everything that we've done will not have as big of impact if people choose to [not] wear masks. I'm telling people, not wearing a mask is not a sign of rebellion, it's just hurting your neighbor," Gov. Walz said.

"I get it that people are frustrated with the shutdown, but the way to protest that is to yell at me or whatever, but not wearing a mask makes it worse."

Per executive order 20-56, Walz wrote: "I strongly encourage all Minnesotans to wear a manufactured or homemade cloth face covering when they leave their homes and travel to any public setting where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. 

Medical experts have determined that wearing a mask can protect others if you cough or sneeze, but there is not enough evidence yet to definitively say wearing a mask will protect you from someone not wearing a mask. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention maintains that the general public only use cloth masks while donating all surgical masks and N95 respirator masks to healthcare workers due to a global competition for the masks making them difficult to obtain, thus threatening the state's supply. 

Sign up for our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

The Mayo Clinic notes that countries that have mandated wearing masks have tended to have had more success in slowing the spread of the virus. "But wearing a cloth face mask will lose any value unless it's combined with frequent hand-washing and social distancing," Mayo added. 

The "Stay Safe MN" order allows Minnesotans to resume social functions of 10 people or less, but it asks people to stay close to home, limit travel and to make sure to social distance and wear a mask. 

"The biggest factor we can have is the social distancing and smart strategies. And people are going to have to do those on their own," Gov. Walz concluded.  

Next Up

Marijuana, cannabis

Minnesota legal marijuana bill headed for House vote for first time ever

The bill passed the House Ways and Means Committee on Friday.

Douglas Schroeder

Appeal to find 59-year-old man missing from Edina

Douglas Schroeder was last seen on Thursday.

Ambulance Hennepin Healthcare

Woman found fatally shot in downtown parking ramp

It happened on 9th Street South between LaSalle and Hennepin.

duluth police department

Woman critical after Duluth stabbing, man suffers broken leg

Police have released sparse details about the incident.

Screen Shot 2021-05-08 at 10.01.38 PM

Police: Man, 20, killed his older sister in Chanhassen

Police found the 25-year-old woman dead from gunshot wounds.

Kirill Kaprizov

Kaprizov's playmaking, Rask's OT winner on display against Ducks

The Wild superstar had a pair of assists in a 4-3 victory.

Tyler Duffey

Twins offense, bullpen continue to struggle against Tigers

The Tigers scored five runs in the seventh inning in a 7-3 defeat.


Early Saturday crash leaves 2 kids, 1 adult dead in Maple Grove

The crash happened just before 7 a.m. Saturday.

State Patrol

State Patrol reports 2 fatal crashes on Friday in Minnesota

The first incident happened in Austin Township, and the second happened in Birch Lake Township.


Deaths on Minnesota roads in 2021 at highest level in more than a decade

There have been a total of eight motorcyclist fatalities on Minnesota roads this year.


Lord Fletcher's

Some restaurant leaders, owners decry 'disastrous' outdoor dining plan

A maximum of 50 guests are allowed outdoors under the latest order from Gov. Tim Walz.


Watch live: Church leaders address reopening against Walz order

In a letter to partner churches, Catholic leaders said Mass can resume at one-third capacity.

coronavirus, pandemic, masks

Map shows where Minnesotans are wearing masks, everywhere they're not

In most of Minnesota, people are not wearing face masks in public despite the fact it can help prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.

Muddy Waters, coronavirus, covid-19

Walz: Change to restaurant, bar guidance unlikely before June 1

Churches can allow 25% capacity up to 250 people, but bars and restaurants can only serve a max of 50 customers outside only.

masks, coronavirus, covid-19

Osterholm: It's time for a mask mandate, but social distancing more important

The state epidemiologist backs Gov. Walz ordering a mask mandate.

coronavirus, nurse

MN hospitals urge Gov. Tim Walz to mandate masks statewide

The MN Hospitals Association says there is a narrow window to slow the spread.