The statewide mask mandate put in place in Minnesota has been lifted thanks to an executive council vote following the latest guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.
The council voted 5-0 to lift the mask mandate Friday afternoon after the CDC suggested that fully vaccinated people can forego their masks in most indoor and outdoor settings.
Private businesses and local governments like those in Minneapolis and St. Paul have the ability to keep mask mandates in effect; however, those are also to be eliminated soon.
Hospitals, long-term care facilities, and nursing homes will still be under a mask mandate. A local CBS affiliate also reported that “correctional facilities and homeless shelters will also still require masks, as will planes, trains, and other forms of public transportation, including Metro Transit.
On Thursday, it was announced that the statewide mask mandate for Minnesota would end as Gov. Tim Walz stated he was “excited,” calling it a “great day” for Minnesota residents.
Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said Thursday she had “mixed feelings” about removing the mandate and said the MDH guidance “will remain that people who are not vaccinated are still at risk.”
“The science demonstrates that if you are fully vaccinated, you are protected,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said on Thursday. “It is the people who are not fully vaccinated in those settings, who might not be wearing a mask, who are not protected.”
In addition to lifting the mask mandate, the council also extended Walz’s emergency powers for 30 more days.