Image courtesy the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Governor Tim Walz has signed an Executive Order requiring Minnesotans to wear face coverings in most indoor settings beginning this Friday.

Starting July 24, at 11:59 p.m., Minnesotans must wear a face covering in indoor businesses and indoor public settings, including when waiting outdoors to enter an indoor business or public indoor space. Workers must also wear face coverings outdoors when it is not possible to maintain social distancing.

For purposes of Walz’s Executive Order, a face covering is defined as a face covering worn to cover the nose and mouth completely. It can include a paper or disposable face mask, a cloth face mask, a scarf, a bandanna, a neck gaiter, or a religious face covering.

Walz stated that when leaving home, Minnesotans are strongly encouraged to have a face covering with them at all times to be prepared to comply with the requirements of the Executive Order.

This Executive Order does not apply in living units, except that a worker entering another person’s living unit for a business purpose is required to wear a face covering when doing so. Visitors, patients, residents, or inmates of hospitals, shelters or drop-in centers, long-term care facilities, residential treatment facilities, and residential programs are also required to wear face coverings.

This requirement also does not apply in a private vehicle that is being used for private purposes. However, face coverings are required when riding on public transportation, in a taxi, in a ride-sharing vehicle, or in a vehicle that is being used for business purposes.

Walz’s Executive Order does not apply to Minnesota legislature proceedings and meetings. Other exceptions include individuals with a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that makes it unreasonable for the individual to maintain a face covering. These individuals should consider using alternatives to face coverings, including clear face shields, and staying at home as much as possible.

Children five years old and under are also exceptions. Those who are under two-years old should never wear a face covering due to the risk of suffocation. Another exception is for individuals at their workplace when wearing a face covering would create a job hazard for the individual or others, as determined by local, state or federal regulators or workplace safety and health standards and guidelines.

For more information, see Walz’s Executive Order at