Rochester Public Utilities | Blog

Mask guidance changes for city and county buildings

Mask guidance has changed for anyone visiting government buildings or facilities in Olmsted County and the City of Rochester. Effective today, masks will no longer be required in them. Olmsted County and the City of Rochester still welcome the use of masks in local government buildings for whoever wishes to wear them and strongly encourage unvaccinated and immunocompromised individuals to continue wearing facial coverings. 

These changes are effective today because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated the COVID-19 Community Level for Olmsted County to “Medium.” Olmsted County and the City of Rochester have been following CDC recommendations throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to help guide decision-making on COVID-19 matters.

It’s important to note that masks are still required on Rochester Public Transit (RPT) buses and in RPT facilities by order of the Transportation Security Administration and the CDC. Masks will also need to be worn by individuals 2-years-old and up for direct patient care services provided by Olmsted County Public Health Services (that is because the CDC’s new COVID-19 Community Level recommendations do not apply in health care settings). Additionally, private businesses still retain the right to require patrons to wear masks inside stores and facilities.

“At Olmsted County, we have been vigilant about keeping our employees, clients, and visitors as healthy and safe as possible,” said Olmsted County Administrator Heidi Welsch. “We have appreciated the community’s compliance with these CDC guidelines.”

City of Rochester Administrator Alison Zelms shared, “The news of Olmsted County dropping to ‘Medium’ on the CDC’s COVID-19 Community Level tracker ushers us into a new, more optimistic, and welcomed phase of the pandemic where we no longer require masks to be worn inside our facilities. We understand that many in our community will continue masking and they are welcome to do so in all of our buildings.”

To view Olmsted County community levels and prevention steps, visit the CDC website.