(FOX 9) - Minneapolis and St. Paul mayors have lifted the city's mask mandate, effective immediately.
The lift comes almost two months after the mayors reinstated executive orders requiring all to wear masks indoor in an effort to minimize the spread of COVID-19.
The mayors say their decision to stop the indoor mask mandate was made based off current data of declining COVID-19 case rates, positivity rates and hospitalizations.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey says since the mask mandate was reinstated, COVID-19 case rates have dropped rapidly and steadily. Frey wrote positivity rates are below high-risk threshold and there is currently a seven-day case rate of 135 per 100,000 individuals, which is lower than the over 900 cases per 100,000 people at the beginning of January when the mandate was issued.
Over the past seven days in Ramsey County, CDC data shows there has been a 56% decline in cases and a 15% decline in new hospital admissions, St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter wrote in the executive order. He says the data trends, combined with 81% of eligible residents in Ramsey County vaccinated with at least one dose, "demonstrates progress toward ending this pandemic."
This lift does not include city-controlled properties. Masks are still required to be worn inside city buildings, regardless of vaccination status. MARCH 10 UPDATE: Both Minneapolis and St. Paul lifted their mask mandates inside city buildings.
The cities are encouraging businesses to continue to require masking indoors.
Two weeks ago, the Twin Cities mayors also lifted its proof of vaccine-or-negative-test requirement to dine in.