How Minnesota mask mandate is enforced in local cities

Published: Jul. 27, 2020 at 6:04 PM CDT
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This past weekend the mandatory Minnesota mask mandate took effect and now local law authorities are enforcing it.

For the La Crescent Police Department, it’s about educating the community and not about fines.

The department is looking for voluntary compliance and will be handing out masks to those that need it.

A mask covering the nose and mouth without holes is required in indoor public settings and outside when social distancing is not possible.

The order does have exemptions for those under two and is not strictly enforced for those under 14.

In the first few days of the order, the department has been able to have conversations with those unaware of the order.

“Some of it’s just an unawareness with the border issue,” said Police Chief Douglas Stavenau, of the La Crescent Police. “It can be confusing at times especially if you live your life in Wisconsin and don’t pay much attention, but you come to run an errand you may not be aware that a new change has taken place. It’s still about building relationships with the community.”

The La Crescent Police Department is asking for understanding and that the community is not quick to judge others who don’t wear a mask as they may have a private disability.

Officers believe the order is a good way to keep businesses open and residents safe.

“We don’t want to close down,” Stavenau added. “We want to keep access to these things, we want to keep our economy strong-- but, it’s all about balance. If this is a protective thing we can do to preserve the economics and the access to things that we have, well let’s do this protective measure so that we can keep moving forward.”

Currently the mandate does not have an end date.

Copyright 2020 WEAU. All rights reserved.

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