Rochester mayor issues mask mandate

Rochester has been added to the growing list of cities throughout Minnesota that are bringing back mask mandates in indoor spaces due to increasing infection rates of the omicron variant.

Mayor Kim Norton signed a declaration of emergency on Saturday to institute a short-term mandate, which she said would "protect vulnerable residents, and help ease the strain on our healthcare system." It will go into effect on Sunday at 6 a.m. and last until Feb. 7, unless rescinded sooner.

The policy applies to all indoor areas accessible to the public by all individuals, regardless of vaccination status. Children ages two and younger are exempt from the rule.

Last night Minnetonka announced the same, and on Thursday Duluth Mayor Emily Larson also issued a 30-day mask mandate. On Jan. 5, both Minneapolis and St. Paul instituted their own similar policies