Minnesota Governor Tim Walz will distribute approximately 2 million KN95 masks to residents of the state through schools and local health organizations.
The move follows an announcement from President Joe Biden that his administration will disperse 400 million masks across the country, after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced certain types of masks are ineffective against preventing coronavirus transmission.
“Throughout the pandemic we have built a strong partnership with schools, local public health agencies, community groups, and others to make sure Minnesotans can access the tools they need to safely navigate COVID-19. That includes KN95 masks, which are especially important as we confront the highly contagious Omicron variant,” said Walz. “Studies constantly show that high-quality masks like KN95s better protect wearers from COVID-19 and help slow the spread of the virus. As we navigate the difficult weeks ahead, make sure you mask up in public to protect yourself, your family, and your community.”
Schools will receive 550,000 masks to distribute to staff and students.
Furthermore, some cities throughout the state have reimplemented mask mandates for residents. For example, Rochester and Minnetonka recently placed the restriction on individuals. Larger cities like Minneapolis and St. Paul started the order earlier this month.
“High-quality masks help keep you and others safe – period. The Omicron variant means it is more important than ever that you wear a mask in public to slow the spread of COVID-19,” added Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan. “I’m grateful to our community partners who continue to serve Minnesotans by providing vital resources to stay safe, including testing, vaccines, and masks.”
Over the past few weeks, cases have spiked in the state. According to the Mayo Clinic, the average positive test rate was 24.2 percent on January 25—a 2 percent jump from two weeks prior.
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