By Ren Clayton

Updated. Originally published Jan. 15, 2022

MINNEAPOLS (WCCO) — The week ahead brings new proof of vaccine and testing rules in the Twin Cities. They come as COVID-19 cases spike across Minnesota.

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As of the latest figures Friday, more than 21% of tests are coming back positive after the state saw its single highest week of cases since the start of the pandemic.

All the new rules and mandates are a lot to keep up with.

“Whether there’s a mask mandate or not, I’m going to be wearing my mask regardless. So with that, I wasn’t aware of any new mandates or anything,” Adam Obermiller said, who works in the lab at M Health Fairview.

Since Minneapolis and St. Paul reinstitutedmask mandates last week, other cities in Minnesota have gradually followed suit. Rochester’s started Sunday and Minnetonka’s is also on Monday.

“Honestly, Minneapolis is kind of lagging behind the times,” University of Minnesota graduate Chris Rounds said. “I think we could have done it earlier, the mask mandate, earlier before this Omicron wave, before things got real nasty. But hindsight is 20/20.”

The University of Minnesota announced Friday, proof of vaccine or a negative test to enter large indoor gatherings, like hockey games, basketball games or swim meets.

“I think it’s smart. Better safe than sorry,” Elaina Creagan said, a freshman at the university. “You don’t want to risk everybody getting it and then closing down again.”

This temporary policy applies to events at the university with 200 or more people and goes from Jan. 26 to Feb. 9.

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“If it’s as simple as wearing a mask at a sporting event, I don’t think that’s too much to ask,” Obermiller said.

Vaccine/Test Requirements: Facts You Need To Know

A big date to know is this Wednesday. That’s when you’ll be required to show vaccine cards or negative test results at bars and restaurants in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

“I think it’s pretty important because I don’t want to go back online for school, especially if I’m paying a lot of money to go here,” Creagan said.

“I’m happy that we’re taking action,” Tyler Wagner, who says he frequents bars and restaurants in Minneapolis, said. “I feel like the government has been slow to react on the most recent surge in cases so we shouldn’t be surprised that the cases are surging when we aren’t differentially acting.”

“You go out to restaurants, bars, gyms, what have you and you don’t really know the person next to you and what their morals are, where they’ve been, and so it definitely helps ease your anxiety,” Michael Ankeny said.

Much to keep track of as we battle another COVID-19 surge.

“But I feel like The U and other towns are taking action better than they did last time it came around,” Creagan said.

When it comes to ticketed events in the Twin Cities, the proof of vaccine and testing rules begin a week later on Jan. 26. That includes places like stadiums, movie theaters, bowling alleys and convention centers.

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Also this week, the Minneapolis Convention Center COVID-19 testing site is temporarily moving to U.S. Bank Stadium. If you’re going to the stadium to get tested, they are offering free parking at the Mills Fleet Farm Parking Garage. Then, you can use the skyway to get to the stadium testing area. This site is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Friday. It’ll be back to the convention center next week.

Ren Clayton