Inconsistencies abound in Twin Cities vax mandates

Although the Twin Cities mandates are burdensome enough, the denial of at-home test results adds another burdensome layer, especially in light of the federal encouragement of at-home testing.

Left: St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter/City of St. Paul; Right: Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey/City of Minneapolis

On top of new mask mandates, the mayors of Minneapolis and St. Paul announced last week that bars and restaurants must require patrons to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test.

But there are two glaring inconsistencies with the vaccine mandates.

First, restaurant workers will not be required to get vaccinated, even though their customers will need to have been vaccinated if they don’t show proof of a negative test.

Following the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down a federal vaccine mandate for businesses, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter repealed the “portion” of their “emergency orders” that mandate the vaccine for most employers.

This leads to an odd situation where the unvaccinated can work at restaurants with no restrictions but cannot dine at them without taking a COVID test.

Second, the Twin Cities vaccine mandates do not allow the unvaccinated to show proof of a negative at-home test. Only PCR tests taken at a certified lab or testing site will be accepted, and negative test results can’t be more than 72 hours old.

Yet this rule comes as the White House announced the purchase of 500 million more at-home tests to be distributed for free, bringing the total to one billion.

The move is meant to increase testing capacity and provide faster results. Long lines and wait times at certified testing sites are not uncommon, and there can also be delays in receiving test results.

Although the Twin Cities mandates are burdensome enough, the denial of at-home test results adds another burdensome layer, especially in light of the federal encouragement of at-home testing.

David Hann, chairman of the Minnesota GOP, slammed the new mandates in a statement.

“Communities are struggling to recover from almost two years of executive overreach and bungled response from Democrats like President Biden, Gov. Walz, Mayors Carter and Frey and their allies. Biden, Walz and the Democrats can’t even deliver the testing ramp-up they promised,” he said.

“These mandates are yet another punch in the gut for Minnesotans and it is time for the public to say enough is enough and reject this government overreach at the polls in 2022.”