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Rochester Institutes Short-Term Mask Mandate

ROCHESTER, Minn. (WCCO) - Rochester is the latest Minnesota city to institute a mask mandate as COVID-19 cases rise due to the Omicron variant.

Mayor Kim Norton signed a declaration of emergency on Saturday to institute the short-term mandate, which she said would "protect vulnerable residents, and help ease the strain on our healthcare system."

It will go into effect on Sunday at 6 a.m. and last until Feb. 7, unless rescinded sooner.

The policy applies to all indoor areas accessible to the public by all individuals, regardless of vaccination status. Children ages two and younger are exempt from the rule.

After Minneapolis and St. Paul reinstituted the requirement last week, a number of cities in Minnesota have followed suit, including Minnetonka, Duluth, Golden Valley, and Hopkins.

The mandates come as COVID-19 surges across the state. Health officials on Friday reported a 21.6% positivity rate, a new record.

For more information on Rochester's mask mandate, click here.

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