Are you heading to Minneapolis to watch the Minnesota Vikings play the Chicago Bears this Sunday?  You better dust off that mask, as mask mandates go into effect in both Minneapolis and St. Paul at 5 pm Thursday, January 6th.

According to MPRnews, the ordinance in Minneapolis will include bars, restaurants, schools, recreational facilities, and stores.  St. Paul's requirements are more encompassing and include all businesses with city licenses, which covers just about any public or commercial establishment.

This goes into effect about 7 months after the two cities lifted their last mask mandate back in June of 2021.

The new orders for both Minneapolis and St. Paul will have exemptions for some, but not for those who have been vaccinated.

According to the article, Governor Tim Walz said Wednesday that he believes other cities in Minnesota will follow suit.  However, the Governor said at this time he is not considering a statewide mask mandate.  He basically said that he believes greater Minnesota would not comply anyway.  The Governor also went on to say that he supports mask mandates, but his focus now is on increased testing and vaccinations.

Here in North Dakota, a statewide mask mandate could not be issued by the Governor after the Legislature passed HB 1323, which was approved back in April of 2021.  It's listed in the North Dakota Century Code as 23-07-12.1.  This law prohibits the Governor, state school superintendent, other state elected officials, and the state health officer from imposing mask mandates.  However, this doesn't prevent private businesses, local schools, or city offices from implementing a mask mandate.

As the Omicron variant continues to spread across North Dakota, we'll see if mask mandates pop up here as well.


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