Effective Saturday, July 25, Minnesotans will be required to wear a face covering in all public indoor spaces and indoor businesses, unless they are alone, according to Executive Order 20-81, announced by Gov. Tim Walz on Wednesday.
MNAAP leadership had signed on to a letter of support for this measure, along with the Minnesota Medical Association and many other health care organizations, in advance of the governor’s announcement.
Additionally, all students, staff, and other people present in school buildings and district offices or riding in school transportation vehicles are required to wear a face covering unless they are exempt because of certain medical or mental health conditions that make it difficult to tolerate wearing a face covering.
Some parents have been asking pediatricians for exemption letters for various reasons. However, there are limited exceptions for compliance. MNAAP recommends considering whether the child is capable of physically remove the mask in the event of an emergency. If yes, they should wear one. Children with severe cognitive issues, sensory challenges, significant respiratory impairments (e.g. tracheostomy or on oxygen), or orthopedic or neurologic issues (e.g.cerebral palsy) if they are unable to remove a mask in an emergency, may not be able to wear a mask. or respiratory impairments may not be able to wear a mask.
Under the mandate, children between the ages of 2 and 5 years old are not required to wear face coverings, but are encouraged to wear a face covering when in public if they can do so reliably. Children under age 2 years should not wear face coverings, in keeping with guidance from the AAP about age-appropriate mask use.
Find more information about the mask mandate on the Minnesota Department of Health website.