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Minneapolis drops mask mandate as COVID-19 vaccination rate grows

Mayor Jacob Frey said the city would end its masking requirement after reaching critical thresholds in vaccination and reporting declining rates of new COVID-19 infections.

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Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey requested the National Guard on Wednesday night after people looted downtown businesses, in the wake of a homicide suspect shooting himself. Frey is shown here with Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo at an evening press conference where they called for downtown to be vacated. (screen grab via St. Paul Pioneer Press)
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ST. PAUL — Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey on Tuesday, June 1, announced that the city would end its mandate requiring face masks in places of public accommodation effective immediately.

Minneapolis had been one of two cities to delay dropping its mandate after Gov. Tim Walz last month ended the statewide requirement. Businesses and private organizations will still be able to require masks despite the change in policy and masking requirements were set to remain in indoor school settings.

Frey said the city opted to end the requirement after the city reached a threshold of 69% of Minneapolis residents 15 and older fully vaccinated against the illness. In total, 78.6% of city residents aged 15 and older had received at least one dose as of Tuesday.

And new COVID-19 cases in the city continued to drop while health officials kept up efforts to make vaccinations more readily available, Frey said.

“After a thorough review of public health data, Minneapolis is reaching vaccination rates above the recommended threshold for safely lifting this policy — but it doesn’t mean the pandemic is over," Frey said in a news release. "Our team at the local level will continue working with trusted community partners and neighboring jurisdictions to expand our outreach efforts in BIPOC and immigrant neighborhoods.”

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Follow Dana Ferguson on Twitter @bydanaferguson , call 651-290-0707 or email dferguson@forumcomm.com

Dana Ferguson is a Minnesota Capitol Correspondent for Forum News Service. Ferguson has covered state government and political stories since she joined the news service in 2018, reporting on the state's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the divided Statehouse and the 2020 election.
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