Skip to main content

Rochester mayor declares local state of emergency, implements targeted mask mandate

The new indoor mask mandate went into effect immediately.

Rochester's mayor declared a three-day local emergency Tuesday, instituting a targeted indoor mask mandate meant to blunt the spread of the delta variant.

The Declaration of Local Emergency (which you can view here) requires everyone to wear a mask while in a public, indoor space "where medically vulnerable individuals or children under the age of 12 are expected to be present." It applies to everyone, regardless of their vaccination status.

The policy went into effect at 10:15 a.m. Tuesday, and will remain in place until Friday, Aug. 20 at 10:15 a.m.

The Rochester City Council has the ability to extend the emergency declaration beyond that time.

Mayor Kim Norton's emergency declaration cites the "recent spread of the Delta Variant among both the vaccinated and unvaccinated," and the "significant" health concerns tied to the variant.

She also noted Olmsted County, where Rochester is located, now has what the CDC considers high transmission of COVID-19 — the most severe categorization used by the federal health agency.

Follow Bring Me The News on Twitter for the latest stories

The county has recorded 224 cases in the past seven days, according to the CDC, a rate of 141.51 per 100,000 residents and an increase of more than 28%, despite less testing during that time. Hospital admissions are also up 4.17%, 

Olmsted County has one of the highest vaccination rates in the state, with 65.1% of the entire population, including those who aren't eligible for the vaccine, considered fully vaccinated. And 82.2% of the 12-and-up population has received at least one shot, according to state data.

Sixty-two of Minnesota's 87 counties have high transmission, according to the CDC's data as of Tuesday afternoon.

Next Up

Hurricane Ian

Why Hurricane Ian could be catastrophic in Florida

Hurricanes are the atmosphere’s biggest show of force and energy, and Hurricane Ian is no exception.


Suspect arrested after man and dog shot on St. Paul's East Side

The shooting happened around 12:45 p.m. Tuesday.


Bemidji police appeal to find missing teenager

Tahlia Poitra was last seen Wednesday.


Crisp & Green owner launches new chain, with 12 MN locations planned

Steele Brands already owns and operates Crisp & Green and Stalk & Spade.


New vendor to open at Rosedale Center food hall

POTLUCK Food Hall offers a rotating collection of local restaurants and food retailers.


Woman charged in drunk driving incident that killed Minnetonka HS alum

Nate Stratton, 20, died from his injuries on Sept. 18.


Inver Grove Heights father killed during suspected burglary

Three people were arrested in connection to the homicide.


St. Paul's upcoming Spring Break restaurant will celebrate the 1980s

The restaurant is one of two new concepts bring brought to downtown St. Paul by local Chef Brian Ingram.

Screen Shot 2022-09-27 at 11.19.05 AM

Man found shot dead on south Minneapolis sidewalk

The victim was found dead on a sidewalk in the Bryant neighborhood.


49th suspect charged in Feeding Our Future fraud investigation

The suspect had booked a flight to Istanbul before being arrested.


Flickr - mask required entry sign - Chad Davis

All but 2 MN counties have 'high' level of COVID-19 transmission

Masks are strongly recommended in indoor, public spaces throughout the state.

minnesota state fair

State Fair could require masks indoors, capacity limits not ruled out

Things could change before Aug. 26, but an indoor mask mandate appears likely.

face mask

Just 8 MN counties remain below CDC's face mask guidance threshold

Face masks are now suggested in public, indoor spaces in 90% of the state.

Flickr - woman holding face mask covid - Nenad Stojkovic

MN businesses, organizations and events that require or recommend a face mask

Many places have changed their protocols due to the spread of the delta variant.

WCCO Radio

WCCO Radio drops out of MN State Fair over COVID-19 concerns

The station said Thursday it is pulling out of the fair, noting staff health and safety come first.

Melvin Carter

Minneapolis and St. Paul to require face masks in city buildings

The mayors recommend the use of masks in all indoor public spaces.