Eight Minnesota cities this month have enacted mask mandates in response to the rapid spread of the highly infectious omicron variant.
That list of local mandates may be at its peak as omicron cases are expected to decline soon, but many of the mask mandates are slated to remain in effect for several weeks or at least until further notice.
Here are the cities that followed the lead of Minneapolis and St. Paul, which reinstated their mask mandates on Jan. 6 until further notice:
Rochester, in effect until Feb. 7.
Duluth, in effect until Feb. 12.
Hopkins, in effect until Feb. 13.
St. Louis Park, in effect until Feb. 22.
Minnetonka, in effect until March 19.
Golden Valley, in effect until further notice.
St. Louis Park is the latest city to require face coverings in all indoor public spaces, following the City Council's unanimous approval of a mandate earlier this week.
Nearly 20 residents showed up at the meeting, and another 70 sent e-mails objecting to a mandate. The maskless crowd spoke over the council members, all wearing masks, before storming out of the meeting and shouting at city officials for infringing on their personal freedoms.
"You are destroying St. Louis Park," one woman shouted as she zipped up her coat to leave. "It's taking over every suburb."
"It's not easy. It's not preferred," Mayor Jake Spano said.
The city mandates can be repealed or extended by a council vote. Each city has different age requirements, with most exempting young children and those with medical conditions preventing them from wearing masks.
It appears unlikely that another city would consider enacting a mandate at this point, given the anticipated peak in omicron, according to Amber Eisenschenk, research manager with the League of Minnesota Cities. "But as COVID has changed rapidly, cities may respond differently," she added.
Several other cities have passed resolutions strongly encouraging masks, including Bloomington, Edina and Brooklyn Park.
The Brooklyn Park City Council last week voted down a resolution to require mask wearing. Instead, it is asking residents and visitors to wear face coverings in indoor areas accessible to the public and adhere to other COVID guidelines, like social distancing and vaccination.
Brooklyn Park, the state's sixth most populous city, has seen some of the highest COVID rates in Minnesota. In the past two weeks, the positivity rate there has been between 25 and 30%, said City Manager Jay Stroebel.
In the coming weeks, Brooklyn Park will roll out a plan to help residents minimize transmission and exposure, said spokeswoman Risikat Adesaogun. "This is not a campaign solely about masks," she said.
Staff reporter Tim Harlow contributed to this report.