Just hours after Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey announced an abrupt end to the city's mask mandate, the City of St. Paul has followed suit with plans to end its mask mandate on Wednesday.
In a brief statement issued Tuesday night, Carter said the primary reason the mask order will be lifted is because it doesn't make sense to have one in place if Minneapolis doesn't.
"While we are yet to reach the benchmarks set by local public health experts, the reality of a maskless Minneapolis limits the logic and efficacy of maintaining a masking order alone," Carter said. "We are lifting Saint Paul's mask requirement and continue to urge residents to get vaccinated as soon as possible."
The statewide mask mandate was canceled by Gov. Tim Walz on May 14, at which point both Frey and Carter ordered their respective cities maintain an indoor mask policy.
In his May 14 announcement that kept the mask order in place, Carter said that "keeping this measure in place protects the public health and safety of our community as we emerge from this pandemic, and look toward the brighter days ahead.”
Health officials have urged protections remain in place until 70% of the state's age 16-plus population has received at least one dose of a vaccine.
Frey said Tuesday that 78.6% of Minneapolis residents aged 15 and over have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose. It's unclear what percent of St. Paul's residents aged 15 and older have been vaccinated, though 71% of Ramsey County residents aged 12 and over have received at least one dose.