Mask mandates in St. Paul, Minneapolis to remain in place

A sign tells customers that masks are required to wear inside the store. (FOX 9)

The mayors of Minneapolis and St. Paul say they will be keeping the mask mandates in their cities for now.

This comes after Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced he will be lifting the statewide mask mandate Friday morning after the CDC released new guidance that those who are fully vaccinated do not need to wear masks indoors.

Local governments can still choose to keep their mandates in effect. In statements released Thursday night, the mayors said they would be consulting with health officials to determine when to lift the requirement.

"I appreciate the continued diligence of our residents and businesses as we work with our public health professionals to determine when masking measures can be safely lifted at the local level," said Carter.

"Minneapolis is nearing the end of this long journey, and our city is coming alive again - so we take this precaution to continue that consistent march in the right direction," said Frey. "There is good reason for hope in the Twin Cities."

St. Paul's mandate will technically expire because of the ending statewide mask order, but city leaders are working to renew the city requirement to keep masking in place.

Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm expressed concern over ending the statewide mask mandate.

"When things are no longer a rule or mandate, people think therefore they are safe," said Malcolm. "People may translate this guidance as meaning the pandemic is over."

Currently, 61% of Minnesotans age 16 and up have received at least one dose. The rates are even higher in Hennepin and Ramsey counties at 71% and 68%, respectively.