Mayor Duluth has ordered a 30-day term for masks as COVID cases rise

Mayor Duluth has ordered a 30-day term for masks as COVID cases rise

Larson acted after the Duluth City Council on Monday declined to pass a mask mandate, instead passing a resolution “requesting the mayor exercise her executive powers to safeguard the community.”

Story Highlights:

  • “If you want to be mad at me, be mad at me. That’s what I’m here for. It’s still the right decision,” Larson told reporters.

  • Standing with Larson during a press conference Thursday, local health leaders argued the extraordinary jump in COVID cases made the mask mandate necessary.

St Louis County public health director Amy Westbrook speaks on Thursday at a press conference in Duluth about the city’s mask mandate.

Amy Westbrook, the St. Louis County public health director, said cases are skyrocketing in the county with some 75 percent of those cases in Duluth.

Dan Kraker | MPR News

Larson said the 30-day mandate is what she’s allowed to do with an emergency declaration. After that the City Council would have to act to extend it.

Duluth is the latest this week to shift to some kind of COVID-driven restriction.

In the Twin Cities suburbs, Golden Valley and Hopkins have both moved to require masks in public places. The Hopkins City Council adopted a mask requirement that takes effect Friday. It includes most public indoor spaces, as well as common areas on private property, like elevators, lobbies and fitness rooms. It is set to expire Feb. 13. Golden Valley’s mandate covers almost all public indoor spaces in the city.

On Wednesday, the mayors of Minneapolis and St. Paul said their cities will temporarily require proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID test to enter places serving food and drink, saying the restrictions were needed as COVID’s omicron variant spreads rapidly across the region.  MPR News reporter Tim Nelson contributed to this report.

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