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Minnetonka, Duluth join list of cities to mandate masks

Those who do not comply with Duluth's mandate could be fined $100 for a first offense, $250 for a second offense and $1,000 for all subsequent offenses.

DULUTH, Minn. — Minnetonka and Duluth are the latest cities to mandate face coverings to help stop the spread of the coronavirus outbreak. Council members from both communities passed the requirement Monday night.

On Monday, the Minnetonka City Council unanimously passed its emergency ordinance, which will require face masks in some indoor spaces in the city. 

In Minnetonka, the mask ordinance applies to the following:

  • Customers at bars and restaurants, except while seated, or while eating or drinking. Employees must wear masks as required by state executive orders.
  • At retail stores, customers must wear masks the entire time they're inside, and employees only have to wear a mask when they are in an indoor area open to the public, or within 6 feet of another person.
  • At gyms, fitness centers and sports facilities (including city-owned sports facilities) all guests and staff are required to wear masks when they're within 6 feet of others, except when they are actively working out.
  • At indoor entertainment venues, including movie theaters, all employees and customers have to wear face coverings unless they're in an assigned seat. People speaking to an audience are exempt if they're 6 feet away from others.
  • City buildings will require face coverings in areas open to the general public.

Children under 5 years old will be exempt, along with those who cannot wear a mask due to medical reasons, and those who are unable to remove the mask without assistance. People speaking to someone who is deaf or hard of hearing may remove their mask to communicate.

Businesses will be required to post signage telling customers about the mask ordinance. The ordinance defines face masks as cloth coverings that fully cover a person's nose and mouth.

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Duluth council members voted unanimously in favor of that city's measure, which requires masks in public indoor places. It takes effect immediately and will remain in place until Gov. Tim Walz ends his local emergency declaration.

The mandate does not apply to children younger than age 10 in Duluth or those unable to wear a face covering for medical reasons, the Star Tribune reported.

The requirement applies to stores, city buses, places of worship, educational institutions, recreational facilities and apartment lobbies.

Those who do not comply with the mandate could be fined $100 for a first offense, $250 for a second offense and $1,000 for all subsequent offenses. Violators could also face misdemeanor prosecution.

Other Minnesota cities, from Minneapolis to Winona, have passed similar measures.

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