MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The mask mandates in the Twin Cities persist, even as the statewide requirement has been lifted.
The disparity led to some confusion this weekend, like at Utepils Brewing in Minneapolis, where manager Joe Lien says staff had to do a little gentle reminding about their rules.READ MORE: COVID Community Test Sites In Mpls., St. Paul, Bloomington To Close By End Of The Week
“Nothing’s really changed for us,” Lien said. “We had somebody less than an hour after the first announcement come in with their card and no mask and try to be like, ‘I don’t have to wear a mask. Everything’s normal.'”
That kind of mix-up was more commonly found at the Loon Cafe near Target Field. Twins fans coming in from outside the cities were less likely to be aware of the rules in Minneapolis, says owner Tim Mahoney.
“Everyone’s very kind, but they’re like, ‘We don’t have to do it at so and so,'” Mahoney said. “We’re not the mask police, and Mayor Frey puts us in a position that we have to enforce an ordinance that statewide has been rescinded.”READ MORE: COVID In Minnesota: 84 Cases, 5 Deaths Reported, Positivity Rate Falls To 1.3%
Minneapolis Health Commissioner Gretchen Musicant laid out some of the data Friday that helped inform the city’s decision. She said only 28% of the city’s Black population has gotten their first dose, and only 35% of Latinos.
“The question of how shall we proceed rests on a goal we have as a city, to lead with the notion of equity and to protect our populations equitably,” Musicant said.
More than half of Hennepin County has yet to be fully vaccinated, which means they don’t meet criteria set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for shedding the masks.MORE NEWS: What Is COVID's Delta Variant?
A mask mandate is also still in place in St. Paul. Local governments and private businesses are free to enforce their own rules.