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Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - Olmsted County and the City of Rochester today announced that the mask mandate for the local government's buildings and facilities has been lifted.

The change was made because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has lowered Olmsted County’s COVID-19 Community Level from high to medium. There are now only two counties in Minnesota that still have the high Community Level designation. They are neighboring Wabasha County and Polk County and northwestern Minnesota.

A news release from Olmsted County stresses the city and county still welcome the use of masks for anyone wishing to wear them. Mask use is also strongly encouraged for unvaccinated people considered immunocompromised.

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.”

Andy Brownell
Andy Brownell

Earlier today, city officials in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Duluth announced they were lifting mask mandates that had been in place in public buildings in the three cities.

Olmsted County and Rochester officials note that a mask mandate remains in effect for anyone on Rochester Public Transit buses or RPT facilities, which is a requirement of the federal government. Masks are also still required for anyone over the age of two when receiving direct patient care services from Olmsted County Public Health Services.

12 Items That Are Experiencing Shortages in 2022

As you are creating your online grocery order or shopping at the grocery store, you may have already noticed that we are seeing store shelves that aren't quite as full. Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois shoppers are experiencing these shortages as they are out shopping but it has also been noticeable throughout the entire country. According to, the following items could be sparse on store shelves due to a large variety of reasons including some of the following: COVID, global supply chain disruptions, and weather-related events.

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