Attorney: Parents to sue Minnesota governor to push for mask mandates at schools

A group of parents will file a lawsuit challenging Governor Walz to reinstitute emergency powers he assumed during the COVID-19 pandemic in order to issue mask mandates for Minnesota schools, as concerns rise over outbreaks in classes.

The peacetime emergency for COVID-19 expired earlier this year, thus limiting Governor Walz's ability to issues new COVID-19 restrictions.

In a call with media members last week, state health officials reiterated they were unable to mandate masks in schools as they discussed an outbreak at Albert Lea schools during the first week of classes that put nearly 300 students into quarantine. Since the start of the school year, the district has recorded 66 confirmed COVID-19 cases.

In a release on the pending lawsuit, the attorney representing the parents says: "While a number of school districts in the state, primarily those in the Twin Cities metropolitan area, have adopted mandatory mask policies, the majority have not, particularly those in some outlying suburban areas and greater Minnesota."

"We believe that mandatory masking is essential to the safety, health and wellbeing of our children, as well as staff members at schools, and those visiting school sites," reads a statement from Winona physician Dr. Loucresie Rupert who is among the group bringing the lawsuit.

Governor Walz's office says they have not yet received a copy of the lawsuit, a spokesperson said.