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Minnesota governor mandates masks indoors statewide

Gov. Tim Walz visits with County Attorney Molly Hicken in this 2018 photo by Rhonda Silence.
Gov. Tim Walz visits with County Attorney Molly Hicken in this 2018 photo by Rhonda Silence.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced a statewide mask mandate Wednesday that requires masks be worn in indoor businesses and indoor public settings, including all such locations in Grand Marais and throughout Cook County. This includes resorts, restaurants, hotel lobbies, canoe outfitters, retail stores and all local businesses.

The mandate will go into effect this weekend on Saturday, July 25 at 12:01 a.m.

In a press conference that WTIP carried live Wednesday afternoon, Walz said: “COVID-19 has impacted every corner of our state and every aspect of our lives. But as Minnesotans always do during tough times, we come together and we take care of one another. And right now there’s no better way to demonstrate our Minnesotan values than by wearing a mask.”

There will be legal consequences for those who violate the executive order. According to a press release sent in conjunction with the press conference, “any individual who willfully violates this executive order is guilty of a petty misdemeanor and upon conviction can be punished by a fine not to exceed $100. Additionally, the governor’s office said businesses willfully violating this executive order are guilty of a misdemeanor and can be punished by a fine not to exceed $1,000 or up to 90 days in jail.

The city attorney in Grand Marais and Cook County attorney Molly Hicken may also seek civil penalties from businesses who are in violation of the executive order.