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Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey to make face masks mandatory inside public accommodations

The mayor will sign the emergency regulation on Thursday.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey will on Thursday sign a regulation requiring that people wear face masks inside public spaces to limit the spread of COVID-19.

The emergency law will be signed by Frey on Thursday afternoon, ahead of the mayor speaking with the media on a press call at 3 p.m.

Per a statement, the regulation "will require people in Minneapolis to wear cloth face masks or coverings when they are in an indoor place of public accommodation" from May 26 onwards.

"Indoor places of public accommodation include retail stores, hotels, government buildings, schools and universities, recreational facilities, and service centers," the city says.

It would also presumably include churches, some of which may open on May 26 in defiance of Gov. Tim Walz's order to remain closed for now.

It's not yet clear how the measure will be enforced, and what the punishment will be for any who violates the regulation.

Gov. Tim Walz has stopped short of making mask wearing mandatory during the COVID-19 outbreak, with his administration making it a recommendation for consumers, though a requirement for workers in certain businesses.

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"Medical research has indicated that COVID-19 may have a high rate of transmission through respiratory droplets, particularly while indoors, and that wearing a mask can help reduce the risk of community spread," the City of Minneapolis said.

"Research has also shown that people who are asymptomatic or yet to show signs of the virus can still transmit it without knowing they have contracted it."

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidance on April 3, encouraging people to wear "cloth coverings" in places where social distancing is difficult.

Some businesses, like Costco, Menards and Metro Transit, have heeded this advice and are requiring customers to wear masks. Meanwhile, state health officials have stressed the importance of wearing them whenever you're out in public to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. 

You can find our guide on how to wear a mask properly here.

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