Winona Mayor announces citywide mask order to take effect July 10


WINONA, Minn. (WKBT) – Winona Mayor Mark Peterson today announced a citywide mask order to begin Friday, July 10.

The order will require all Winona residents and visitors to wear face coverings indoors in public buildings and anywhere where physical distancing is difficult.

The order will take effect at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, July 10, and last for 30 days.

The mayor has the ability to enact the order under the local emergency declaration the city council approved this spring in response to COVID-19. The Winona City Council has the opportunity to extend or end the order at any point.

“The single most important action any Winonan can take to prevent the spread of COVID is to wear a mask,” Peterson said. “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 is making arrangements to provide masks free of charge at accessible locations to residents in need.

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.

The order includes exemptions for those with a 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.

Anyone who chooses not to comply and who does not meet a reason for exemption 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.

Winona joins Rochester and Mankato in a growing regional approach to mask orders; both cities approved their orders on Monday.

Mayor Peterson strongly encouraged other communities in the region, especially La Crosse, Onalaska, and those in Trempealeau and Buffalo counties, to consider similar order.