Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) on Wednesday announced a statewide mask order, requiring individuals to wear a face-covering indoors.
The governor said during Wednesday’s press conference that three things are most effective in defeating the Chinese coronavirus: Wearing a mask, washing hands, and social distancing.
“This is the quickest way to ending the COVID pandemic. It is the surest way to getting us to the therapeutics and vaccines and with the least amount of impact on Minnesotans, and it is the absolute economic key to making sure that businesses are open and stay open,” Walz said.
The governor added that police will have masks on hand, adding, “They would much rather give you a mask than a ticket.”
The order goes into effect on Saturday morning, he said, adding that it is only a minority percentage who have not been wearing a mask thus far.
Minnesota reported 507 new cases of the Chinese coronavirus on Wednesday, bringing the state’s total to 47,961 with 1,552 related fatalities. Over 76 percent of the fatalities, or 1,192, stem from nursing homes or assisted living facilities, according to the Minnesota Department of Health.
Walz is one of the latest leaders to announce a sweeping mask order. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) signed an executive order on masks on Wednesday, and Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) announced a statewide mask order that goes into effect on Thursday.