Skip to Content

Rochester mandates face coverings in city buildings

Remaining Ad Time Ad - 00:00

ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- Face coverings are now required inside all Rochester City facilities.

That's the result of a 6-1 city council vote, Monday afternoon.
The decision is following an amendment by Mayor Kim Norton to her Emergency Declaration.

"Every scientific organization is pointing to masking being a good policy. So let's listen to them. Let's not ignore that science," said council member Michael Woljik.

Council President Randy Staver, was the only member to vote no.

"I would really like to see more specific criteria of when this could end," Staver said. "I understand there's a statement that says it could remain in place until the end of the state emergency declaration. Some of these resolutions that we're seeing, not only at the local level but in the state and even nationally. These sort of open-ended resolutions and declarations are making me uncomfortable as I read and hear more about them. I would be much more comfortable if this, had some sort of specific criteria as to when it could end.".

The council was also concerned about how the city will enforce the policy.

They asked Rochester Police Chief, Jim Franklin how officers would assess the situation if someone wasn't wearing a mask.

"Our efforts would be focused on education and encouragement with enforcement being kind of a last effort. And yes, you do give the person a warning, and say if you are not going to comply you do need to leave," he said.

Those who refuse may get fined.

Councilman Patrick Keene supported the decision but hopes more policies can be established to keep more people healthy.

"You have to acknowledge this, as there's a political statement being made without masks and we are dragging our city into it more," he said. "And I want to be very careful with that. And I am interested as we look in the non-city properties and see what can we do to drive the best behaviors, and to help our city our community get through this pandemic with the least amount of impact."

This policy will not be enforced in skyways. Masks are already required on Rochester Public Transit buses.

KaMaria Braye

Skip to content