Minnesota House bill seeks to make the mask mandate law

On July 22nd, Gov. Walz signed Executive Order 20-81, which requires Minnesotans to wear a face covering in indoor businesses and indoor public settings. In September, he said:

“I’ve got to be honest with you, I would assume that one of the last things we’ll do is lose the masks”

Now, we know how serious he was about that. A bill – HF 604 – in the Minnesota House would make the mandate law.

The bill is much like the current mandate:

Face coverings required.

(a) An individual who is age five or older must wear
a face covering when the individual is:

(1) indoors at a business or public setting;

(2) waiting outdoors to enter an indoor business or indoor public setting;

(3) riding on public transportation, in a school transportation vehicle, in a ride-sharing
vehicle, or in a vehicle being used for a business purpose;

(4) outdoors when it is not possible to maintain social distancing from others who are
not members of the individual’s household; or

(5) in a common area of a multi-unit dwelling.

What is interesting is when the bill says face masks are not required:

Face coverings not required. 

An individual is not required to wear a face
covering if the individual:

(1) has a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that makes it
unreasonable for the individual to wear a face covering, including an individual with a
medical condition that compromises the ability to breathe or an individual who is
unconscious, incapacitated, or unable to remove a face covering without assistance;

(2) is age four or younger;

(3) is working in a job setting where wearing a face covering would create a job hazard
for the individual or others at the setting;

(4) is in a private living unit, except that a worker must wear a face covering when the
worker is in an individual’s private living unit for a business purpose;

(5) is in a private vehicle that is being used for a private purpose; or

(6) is a child care worker and is actively caring for children under age five at a child
care setting, except that a child care worker must wear a face covering when the child care
worker is in a child care setting other than a family or group family day care home or legal
nonlicensed child care provider and is in:

(i) an indoor common area, such as a hallway, lobby, or restroom; or

(ii) a break room and is not eating or drinking.

So, according to this bill, you will still have to wear a mask if you have had COVID-19 and recovered and you will still have to wear a mask if you have been vaccinated.

John Phelan is an economist at the Center of the American Experiment.