Doctors association: Wearing masks in public should be required statewide in Minnesota

A group that represents doctors in Minnesota is calling on government and business leaders to require the use of masks across the state.

In a message posted to the Minnesota Medical Association's website, the doctors say the use of masks should be required by all institutions to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Doctors note that, while some improvements have been seen with COVID-19, the threat from the virus is far from over.

"The medical benefits of wearing a mask are clear – a mask helps reduce virus transmission, particularly by individuals who are sick but have no symptoms and by individuals who have been infected but do not yet show any symptoms," said Minnesota Medical Association President Dr. Keith Stelter. "Masks are also safe to wear."

The doctors say requiring masks to be worn could help mitigate a second spike of cases.

"The MMA and other state medical society organizations call on state, local, and business leaders to help all Minnesotans do the right thing to practice good health and support our communities – no shirt, no shoes, no mask, no service," the association writes. 

In a call on Friday, officials with the Minnesota Department of Health say the state has considered requiring the use of masks statewide as part of reopening plans. However, while officials have urged Minnesotans to wear masks out in public, no requirement has been issued.