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Winona announces city-wide mask order

WINONA, Minn. (WXOW) -- Winona Mayor Mark Peterson said that starting Friday morning, he's ordering all residents and visitors to wear face coverings indoors in public buildings or anywhere physical distancing is difficult.

“The single most important action any Winonan can take to prevent the spread of COVID is to wear a mask,” Peterson said in a statement on the city's website. “This is the right thing to do. This order will help keep our businesses open, allow our schools and universities to open this fall, and most importantly protect the health and safety of all Winona residents.”

The city's website said the mayor has the authority to make the requirement under powers granted to him under the local emergency declaration the city council approved earlier this year.

The requirement is in effect for 30 days, but could be extended or ended by the city council according to the city.

They provided answers to questions people may have about the order. Here is a part of those responses.

Where do I have to wear a mask?
The order has several requirements for wearing masks when individuals are closer than 6 feet to another person, including: Employees of retail businesses; public transportation users; patrons of bars and restaurants when not seated at tables; gym users; entertainment venue attendees; and more.

Are there exemptions?
The order includes exemptions for those with medical, disability, or developmental reasons; children younger than 2; youth sports; dining; public speaking; businesses like salons under equal or more strict orders; buildings not under city control like county and state facilities; and others.

What happens if I don’t comply?
We really hope you do. This is about having compassion and care for your neighbors. But in the case where anyone chooses not to comply, and does not meet a reason for exemption, they will be asked to leave the business or area. If they refuse, law enforcement may enforce trespassing laws. Businesses that violate the proclamation may face administrative action for any licenses they possess with the city. 

Find more information on the City of Winona Website.

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