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Cook County Asks Governor to Issue Mask Mandate

Jul 16, 2020 10:32AM ● By Editor

From Cook County MN - July 16, 2020

The Cook County Board of Commissioners submitted a letter to Governor Tim Walz yesterday asking him to impose a state-wide mask mandate.

The request, approved by a 4-1 vote at Tuesday’s board meeting, commends the governor for the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and discusses the county’s dependence on summer tourism, its limited resources for providing intensive medical care, and the large number of at-risk residents.

The letter asks the governor to impose a state-wide mask requirement immediately “in all public buildings and all private buildings that provide such public accommodations as lodging, dining, retail sales, professional and personal services, etc.,” including all outdoor spaces where crowding makes social distancing infeasible.

The correspondence states that a state-wide requirement would provide uniformity and help reinforce that wearing masks is a “common-sense public-health response to the pandemic,” one that is an investment in remaining physically and economically healthy.

“Commissioners and elected officials often need to make decisions based on what’s best for the public, in this case public health,” said Interim County Administrator Rena Rogers. “We received nearly 50 letters related to the face mask issue, with about 90% favoring a mask mandate. Since there is not a state statute that allows the county to enact a mask ordinance, the board chose to make this request to the governor.”

Rogers read all the letters the county had received concerning a face mask mandate during the public comment period at Tuesday’s board meeting.

Rena Rogers
[email protected]

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