(Originally published on Aug. 3)By Esme Murphy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — More Minnesota cities, counties and businesses are now asking people to wear masks. That includes Minneapolis and St. Paul, recommending them in all indoor spaces, and requiring for all government staff.

The new developments continue to stream in Tuesday as the whole nation fights rising cases of COVID-19 — all because of the more-contagious Delta variant and low vaccination rates.

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In New York City Tuesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced tough new vaccination requirements. People will have to prove they’ve had the vaccine if they want to eat indoors at restaurants, workout in gyms and attend performances. The city will start enforcing the rule on Sept. 13.

In Minnesota, it seems mask mandates are changing by the hour at public buildings, businesses and workplaces. The wave of new mask mandates is only expected to increase as COVID cases continue to rise.

The University of Minnesota is requiring masks for students and staff. Cub Foods and Target and are now requiring masks for employees and recommending them for customers. Home Depot is requiring masks for workers and asking that customers wear masks. The manager of the St. Louis Park location told WCCO Tuesday that because there is no state mask mandate, they can’t make people wear masks.

(credit: CBS)

Some customers, like Andrea Schmidt, like it that way.

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“I think it should be up to the individual,” Schmidt said.

Others support wearing masks in counties where cases are above a threshold set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which includes the entire Twin Cities metro area.

The University of St. Thomas in St. Paul is one of the few places that has implemented a vaccine mandate. All students and staff starting this fall will have to be vaccinated and be ready to wear masks. A number of students told WCCO Tuesday they are against the mandate, but they all declined to go on camera. Those who did, like Lexi Kunze, support the university’s move.

“St. Thomas is setting a really good example for other colleges, and I’m really proud to be going into a university that’s paying attention to the science,” Kunze said.

So the advice right now is to stand by, and have a stack of masks at the ready as new guidelines are coming every day.

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The mayors of St. Paul and Minneapolis both say they are also exploring a vaccine requirement for city employees.

Esme Murphy