Gov. Walz to Sign Order Ending Mask Mandate Friday Morning

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced he will sign an order Friday morning to fully remove the statewide mask mandate after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that fully vaccinated people can go without masks indoors.

Walz made the announcement during a press conference Thursday evening alongside Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcom, who said she had “mixed feelings” about the new step.

“This great day is possible because vaccines have proven to be effective,” said Walz. “Once you are fully vaccinated you are protected. You can confidently return to the people you love and things that you miss – all without a mask.  The message is clear — get vaccinated and let’s put the pandemic behind us once and for all.”

Private businesses and local municipalities may still put in place face covering requirements. And Minnesota’s Safe Learning Plan, along with the existing face covering guidance for schools and child care settings, remain in effect.

The CDC announcement undercuts a timeline that Walz laid out last week. In that timeline, the governor said he would lift the state’s indoor mask mandate by at least July 1, or sooner if 70 percent of Minnesota adults get a vaccine. As of Thursday, 61.5 percent of Minnesotans ages 16 and older have gotten at least one dose.

Walz is ending the rest of Minnesota’s restrictions on businesses, including capacity limits and physical distancing requirements, on May 28.

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