Hennepin County, some cities to require masks in public buildings

Hennepin County will reinstate a mask mandate in county buildings and for all county employees starting Wednesday morning, officials announced Tuesday. Several cities are also following suit, including Minneapolis, St. Paul, Duluth and Bloomington.

The mandate will apply to all employees, volunteers and visitors ages five and up, regardless of vaccination status. Face coverings will be available to those who don’t have one. 

According to CDC data, the current seven-day transmission rate in Hennepin County as of July 31 is 65.65 per 100,000. The rate has been trending up since the week of June 28. In Hennepin County, currently just over 72% of people 12 and up are fully vaccinated (nearly 62% of all residents including kids under 12).

While Hennepin County’s overall vaccination rates are among the best in the state, there are still many residents for whom vaccination is not sufficient to protect their health or it is not yet possible, such as children under age 12.

Ramsey County and Dakota County also reinstated its mask mandates in all county-owned buildings, such as libraries. Check with your local city and county for the latest requirements.

Cities reinstating mask mandate in city buildings:

Minneapolis: Starting Wednesday, any individual who is over age two and able to medically tolerate a face covering must wear a mask when inside all buildings and facilities owned or operated by the City of Minneapolis, including Minneapolis City Hall, regardless of vaccination status.

Duluth: Starting Wednesday, the City of Duluth is requiring all city employees and visitors to wear masks in city buildings. The city says it’s following guidance from CDC and Minnesota Health Department as the COVID-19 delta variant spreads nationwide.

Bloomington: The City of Bloomington announced that due to substantial community transmission of COVID-19 in Hennepin County, masks are required inside City facilities for all guests age 2 and above, regardless of vaccination status.

Check with your local city and county for the latest requirements.