MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Starting Monday, shoppers will need a face covering at Kowalski’s, CVS, Walmart and Caribou Coffee.

The St. Cloud City Council will also take up its mask policy Monday. Gov. Tim Walz is milling over his decision to make a state-wide mandate. The Minnesota Hospital Association supports the requirement.

A lack of masks and social distancing appeared to be a problem for some people this weekend.

Video of the line outside Welch Mill Canoeing, Tubing and Kayaking in Welch showed hundreds of people close together without wearing face coverings.

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Ross Nelson, Welch Mill’s co-owner, says he asked his customers to spread out.

“It’s hard to do. It’s really hard to do,” Nelson said. “I’ve gone out and done suggestions when we had the big line, and I told a lot of people they should go home, you know, don’t wait in this line.”

Nelson says many people come tubing in big groups, and they will separate from other groups, but usually not from their friends or family.

On the bus ride up to the top of the river, masks are required. Nelson says one of his drivers quit because he was sick of dealing with customers who didn’t want to wear them.

“We’re doing as much compliance as we possibly can right now,” Nelson said.

Another video shows the crowded dance floor at Floyd’s Bar in Victoria Friday night. The bar didn’t pick up its phone Sunday to comment on its policy or the video.

In Minneapolis, city health inspectors gave citations to three unnamed bars this week for not operating safely for COVID-19. The city says it could close the bars if changes aren’t made.

Read More: MDH To Take Action After 120 Complaints Of Restaurants, Bars Flouting COVID Rules

Many scientific studies show the effectiveness of cloth masks to lower the spray of droplets, a main way the virus spreads. Dr. Peter Henry, chief medical officer at Essentia Health, says it’s not about politics; masks can make a dramatic difference in containing the virus.

“If you don’t give the virus a way to transmit itself to another human being, it will die,” Henry said. “It has to have a place to live.”

David Schuman

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