ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- Earlier this month, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz and the Minnesota Department of Health announced a plan for reopening the state from pandemic restrictions. Rochester mayor Kim Norton says the city will continue to follow the lead of the state regarding a COVID-19 plan.
She says Rochester will also continue to work with partners at Olmsted County Public Health, Mayo Clinic, Olmsted Medical Center, as well as the Minnesota Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention when making any local decisions.
“We remain under the governor's statewide mask mandate and I’m sure all of us are excited to loosen standards,” Norton stated.
Like most Minnesota government officials, Mayor Norton is aware the pandemic is still here and that work still needs to get done for a more normal way of living.
She encourages anyone who is not yet vaccinated to do so, and expects Rochester to go even further beyond the 70 percent vaccinated goal Walz set.
"We need the whole state of Minnesota to get to that 70 percent rate before the mask mandate is lifted,” said Norton.
Rochester will follow state guidance about when that mandate is lifted.
“We will continue to follow the governor’s orders unless and until we have some sort of data or incident that would show us that that’s not the safe way to go in Rochester,” the mayor said.
Norton is excited about the governor's recent announcement regarding lifting COVID-19 restrictions and for local events to return to the city this summer.
“Our Fourth of July, our Rochesterfest, our downtown Rochester activities in the community. It’s really exciting to see those announcements come out. Most of those are outdoors and we can be maskless,” stated Norton.
More information about the state's COVID-19 guidance can be found on the Minnesota Department of Health’s website and the state COVID-19 website. You can also call the Rochester COVID-19 hotline 507-328-2822.