Two months after dropping their citywide face mask requirements, Minneapolis and St. Paul are now recommending everyone wear a mask in indoor public spaces.
Mayors Melvin Carter and Jacob Frey announced the change in a joint statement Tuesday afternoon. They citied rising COVID-19 case numbers that reach "substantial" transmission, and last week's updated masking guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“This pandemic is far from over,” said Carter in a statement. “These measures will help protect us as we continue our work to get our entire community vaccinated."
The new guidance stops short of an all-out mask mandate. Instead, the mayors are "encouraging everyone to resume masking when indoors," the announcement reads.
The cities are, however, urging businesses "to adopt universal masking requirements for customers." And starting Wednesday, they will require city employees and people in city-owned buildings to wear a face mask, even if they are vaccinated.
Both mayors will also explore the possibility of a vaccine requirement for city workers.
“Get vaccinated,” said Frey. “Getting the vaccine will help protect you and your neighbors from a deadly virus, and it is the single most important action we can all take to curb the need for further restrictions.”