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Legal Update Article

More Minnesota Cities Following Suit in Requiring Face Masks

The cities of Edina, Rochester, and Mankato are the most recent in Minnesota to require individuals to wear face masks in public. They join the growing number of cities and states with the same requirements to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the United States.

As of July 6, 2020, the City of Edina requires individuals (age five and older) to wear masks in all public spaces, including retail establishments. The City does not require masks in its recreation facilitates where social distancing can be maintained.

Under the City of Rochester’s mandate, beginning July 8, 2020, cloth face masks must be worn in indoor spaces open to the public. The following exceptions apply:

  • Restaurants and Bars: Businesses must include in the COVID-19 Preparedness Plan that customers must wear a face covering when not seated at their table.
  • Retail Businesses: Employers must include in the COVID-19 Preparedness Plan that employees must wear a face covering when they are within any area open to the public or within six feet of another person. Additionally, customers must wear a mask before entering the retail establishment and keep it on until they have exited.
  • Gyms, Fitness Centers, Sports Facilitates: Face coverings are required at all times when six feet of social distancing cannot be maintained for all participants, staff, and spectators.
  • Entertainment Venue: Face masks are required until the individual is seated and not within six feet of another person.

Mankato is the latest city to require all individuals (age 13  or older) to wear a face covering when in indoor spaces of public accommodation. The ordinance identifies the following exceptions:

  • Eating or drinking (when seated at a table at least six feet from other patrons).
  • Indoor athletic facilities.
  • Movie theaters and other indoor entertainment venues (when seated with at least six feet of social distance from other patrons).

Reopening orders contain extensive requirements creating compliance issues that can vary significantly depending on the specific state or local jurisdiction. Jackson Lewis attorneys are closely monitoring updates and changes to legal requirements and guidance and are available to help employers weed through the complexities involved with state-specific or multistate-compliant plans.

If you have questions or need assistance, please reach out to the Jackson Lewis attorney with whom you regularly work, or any member of our COVID-19 team.

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