As of July 25, 2020, per the Governor’s Executive Order 20-81, people in Minnesota are required to wear a face covering in all indoor businesses and public indoor spaces, unless alone. Sleepy Eye Medical Center supports masking and urges the public to take the mandate seriously in an effort to reduce the risk of infection. According to health professionals at SEMC, research has shown that use of face coverings can greatly reduce the risk of infection when combined with other prevention efforts, such as social distancing and hand hygiene.
A variety of face coverings are acceptable, including paper or disposable masks, cloth masks, neck gaiters, scarves, bandannas, or religious coverings. In order for the covering to be effective, it must cover the nose and mouth completely. In addition, the wearer should refrain from touching the covering while wearing it and wash soiled cloth coverings between each use with hot water and regular detergent.
SEMC reminds the community that a face covering is not a substitute for social distancing, but is especially important in situations when maintaining a 6-foot distance from other individuals who are not members of the same household is not possible.
For resources and guidance on frequently asked questions about the requirement to wear face coverings, SEMC recommends visiting the Minnesota Department of Health website.