Walz supports new Twin Cities mask mandates

In both cities, the mask mandates will take effect Jan. 6 at 5 p.m.

Gov. Tim Walz/YouTube

Gov. Tim Walz said Wednesday that he supports the new mask mandates in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

The governor apparently told reporters that he won’t institute a statewide mask mandate “at this time” but supports St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter and Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey in their decision to bring back mandatory masking.

“At this point in time this move makes sense,” he said. “I would expect there would be several other jurisdictions that may follow.”

According to MPR, the governor isn’t considering a statewide mandate because “folks” in Greater Minnesota wouldn’t “comply to the level we need it to.”

Minnesota was under a statewide mask mandate from July 2020 to May 2021 thanks to an executive order issued by Gov. Walz.

Both Carter and Frey reinstated their city-wide mask mandates Wednesday, citing the “surging number of cases and hospitalizations from the Omicron variant.”

“We have to keep our city healthy and moving. Wearing a mask is an obvious next step to do both,” said Frey.

In both cities, the mask mandates will take effect Jan. 6 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,” Carter said in a statement. “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.”