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Briefly

More cities mandating masks

DULUTH (AP) — Duluth and Minnetonka are the latest cities to mandate face coverings to help stop the spread of the coronavirus outbreak. Council members from both communities passed the requirement Monday night.

Duluth council members voted unanimously in favor of the measure, which requires masks in public indoor places. It takes effect immediately and will remain in place until Gov. Tim Walz ends his local emergency declaration.

The mandate does not apply to children younger than age 10 in Duluth or those unable to wear a face covering for medical reasons, the Star Tribune reported.

The requirement applies to stores, city buses, places of worship, educational institutions, recreational facilities and apartment lobbies.

Those who do not comply with the mandate could be fined $100 for a first offense, $250 for a second offense and $1,000 for all subsequent offenses. Violators could also face misdemeanor prosecution.

Other Minnesota cities, from Minneapolis to Winona, have passed similar measures.

Officials question N.Y. decision

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota health officials are questioning why the state was added to New York, New Jersey and Connecticut’s quarantine list.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday that Minnesota and three other states — New Mexico, Ohio and Wisconsin — were added to the list as governors in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut try to contain the spread of the coronavirus from regions of the country where infection rates are growing.

Minnesota health officials are surprised by the addition because the state appears to be below the joint travel advisory’s threshold for travel restrictions.

“We are looking into this as it does not jibe with our data,” Minnesota’s infectious disease director Kris Ehresmann told the Star Tribune in an email Tuesday morning.

The addition of Minnesota and the other three states means that travelers from 22 states will be required to quarantine for 14 days upon entering New York.

Last month, the governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut announced a joint travel advisory that applies to any person arriving from a state with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents over a seven-day rolling average or a state with a 10% or higher positive rate over a seven-day rolling average.

Minnesota’s updated COVID-19 dashboard on Tuesday morning showed a daily COVID-19 new case rate of 6 per 100,000 people and a testing positivity rate of only 3%.

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