Gov. Walz to issue statewide mask mandate at 2 p.m. press conference

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According to News Talk 830 WCCO Political Analyst Blois Olson Governor Tim Walz is set to announce that he is placing the state of Minnesota under a mandatory mask mandate.

 

During "The Morning Take" on The Morning News with Dave Lee, Olson said that Walz will announce the mandate at his 2 p.m. news conference Wednesday afternoon. The mandate will go into effect starting this Friday at midnight according to Olson. 

The mandate will be for indoor places of public accommodation.

With COVID-19 cases spiking in the state this was an expected move by many. Minnesota will be the 29th state in America to make wearing face coverings mandatory. 

Last week, the Center for Disease Control issued a statement encouraging people to wear masks, saying, "CDC reviewed the latest science and affirms that cloth face coverings are a critical tool in the fight against COVID-19 that could reduce the spread of the disease, particularly when used universally within communities. There is increasing evidence that cloth face coverings help prevent people who have COVID-19 from spreading the virus to others."

CDC Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield also added, "Cloth face coverings are one of the most powerful weapons we have to slow and stop the spread of the virus – particularly when used universally within a community setting. All Americans have a responsibility to protect themselves, their families, and their communities.”

One of the experts who originally questioned the effectiveness of cloth masks, told Dave Lee on Wednesday he supports the governor's decision to require masks.

The University of Minnesota's Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy Dr. Michael Osterholm says, "I think it's time.  We have said over and over again, understand that the face cloth covering, as opposed to N95 masks for health care workers, are something you can use to provide at least some protection."

Osterholm is also quick to add that it's no replacement for distance which he says is much more effective than cloth masks.

"Please don't forget the most important protection you provide yourself and others is distance, distance, and distance," Osterholm says.  "The further away you are from someone, the less time you spend in someone's airspace, the more your protect yourself and others.  If you're going to do things, do them outdoors.  I can't emphasize it enough, masks, but most important is distance." 

This is a developing story. Stay tuned to News Talk 830 WCCO. We will carry the Governor's press conference on 830 am and on all of our digital platforms.