FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 3, 2021
Mayor Carter and Mayor Frey Issue New Masking Guidance amid Delta Variant Spread and COVID-19 Case Increases in Twin Cities
In following latest CDC recommendations, Mayors recommend usage of masks in all indoor public spaces, and requiring masks for local government staff while indoors, as well as all visitors to City-owned buildings
SAINT PAUL, MN – Today, Saint Paul Mayor Melvin Carter and Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey issued new masking guidance for indoor space in the Twin Cities along with requirements for the local governments’ staff and City-owned buildings. As data continues to emerge demonstrating the Delta variant’s heightened rate of transmission among both vaccinated and unvaccinated residents, the mayors are following recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and encouraging everyone to resume masking when indoors and requiring masks for those in City-owned buildings and City staff.
"This pandemic is far from over,” said Mayor Melvin Carter. “These measures will help protect us as we continue our work to get our entire community vaccinated."
“Get vaccinated,” said Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey. “Getting the vaccine will help protect you and your neighbors from a deadly virus and it is the single most important action we can all take to curb the need for further restrictions.”
Recent new guidance from the CDC recommends fully vaccinated people wear masks indoors in areas with “substantial” (50-100 cases per 100,000) or “high” (100+ cases per 100,000) transmission of COVID-19. On July 29, 2021, the CDC COVID-19 data track changed Ramsey County’s level of community transmission to “substantial, triggering the CDC recommendation for fully vaccinated people to wear masks in public indoor settings.
Saint Paul-Ramsey County Public Health officials and city leaders will revisit this recommendation in the coming weeks as they continue to monitor transmission rates, hospitalizations, deaths, and increasing vaccination rates in the City and throughout the region.
Businesses are urged to adopt universal masking requirements for customers entering indoor areas of their businesses to provide better protection to their employees and customers. Also in accordance with CDC guidelines, restaurants and bar owners are encouraged to follow CDC’s guiding principles for promoting behaviors that reduce virus spread, maintaining healthy environments and operations, and preparing for when an employee gets sick.
Both mayors are exploring options regarding a vaccine requirement.
ABOUT CDC RECOMMENDATION
To maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others, wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission. Wearing a mask is most important if you have a weakened immune system or if, because of your age or an underlying medical condition, you are at increased risk for severe disease, or if someone in your household has a weakened immune system, is at increased risk for severe disease, or is unvaccinated. If this applies to you or your household, you might choose to wear a mask regardless of the level of transmission in your area. You should continue to wear a mask where required by laws, rules, regulations, or local guidance.
ABOUT CITY OF SAINT PAUL EXECUTIVE ORDER 2021-33
Executive order 2021-33 requires all individuals regardless of vaccine status at City-Controlled Property to wear a face covering indoors at all times. Employees who are not in a congregate setting and are alone in their assigned workspace may refrain from wearing a face covering. City of Saint Paul employees and visitors are not required to wear a face covering while outdoors, unless at an activity specifically designated and posted by the City as requiring a face covering.
The order will apply 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.
All businesses are strongly encouraged to require that all individuals, regardless of vaccine status, wear a face covering indoors.
View Executive Order 2021-33 here.