January 5, 2022

Peter Leggett

Amid Highly Contagious COVID-19 Variants, Mayor Melvin Carter Reinstates Mask Requirement in Licensed Businesses and City Controlled Facilities in Saint Paul

Renewed Mask Requirement Comes Amid
Surge of COVID-19 Cases in Ramsey County

SAINT PAUL, MN - Today, Saint Paul Mayor Melvin Carter signed Executive Order 2022-2, renewing the requirement for facemasks to be work indoors in all city-controlled facilities and at all businesses licensed by the City of Saint Paul at all times when social distancing of at least 6 feet is not maintained, except for temporary removal of face covering when eating or drinking. All businesses are strongly encouraged to continue to require that all individuals wear a face covering indoors at all times when social distancing of at least 6 feet is not maintained. The reinstated requirement for licensed businesses takes effect on Thursday, January 6, 2022 at 5 p.m.

“Reinstating the masking requirement is an important step in keeping our communities safe amid the surge of COVID-19 cases in Saint Paul,” said Mayor Melvin Carter. “This, alongside our work to ensure Saint Paul residents have the tools and access they need to get vaccinated are paramount to recovering from this pandemic and building toward our future.” 

COVID-19 infection is transmitted predominately by inhalation of respiratory droplets and studies show that masks and face coverings block the release of respiratory droplets into the environment and can also reduce the wearer’s exposure to droplets from others. Viral particles spread more readily indoors and when people are closer together for longer periods of time.

Inside activities, and in particular inside activities where individuals gather without masks and where individuals gather for extended periods, or both, increase the likelihood of the spread of COVID-19. Studies have indicated and public health experts have concluded that indoor dining is a significant driver of the COVID-19 pandemic, in part because it is not possible to wear a mask while eating or drinking.

Executive Order 2022-2 applies to all individuals except young children at risk of suffocation and persons who cannot medically tolerate wearing a face covering. Acceptable face coverings include manufactured or homemade cloth face coverings, and are not required to be medical-grade masks.  Face coverings must fully cover a person’s nose and mouth.  

Today’s renewed measure comes in close consultation with public health partners at Saint Paul-Ramsey County Public Health amid high infection rates of Delta and Omicron variant cases in Saint Paul.

Currently, there are approximately 536 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people per day in Ramsey County, which places Ramsey County in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s high transmission category (which includes any location over 100 or more cases per 100,000). The positivity rate in Ramsey County is currently more than 13%.

View Executive Order 2022-2 here


Last Edited: January 5, 2022