Masking guidance

We share information about when, how and why to wear a mask to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Masking in Minneapolis

Community transmission of COVID-19 has increased in Minneapolis. The risk for COVID-19 exposure and infection will continue until more people are vaccinated. It is important for everyone to help slow the spread of the virus by wearing masks indoors.

  • Masks are now required for everyone indoors in the City of Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, Minneapolis Public Schools, Ramsey County, and Saint Paul owned or controlled properties. Face coverings also continue to be required by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on public transportation, including school buses.
  • If you aren’t fully vaccinated, your mask is one of the most powerful tools you have to protect yourself and other unvaccinated people. This is especially true when you are in an indoor or crowded outdoor space.
  • If you are fully vaccinated, wearing a mask indoors gives you extra protection from getting infected and it protects other unvaccinated people.
    Real world data continues to show that people who are fully vaccinated are well protected from serious illness and death from COVID-19, including the Delta variant. A small number of fully vaccinated persons can get asymptomatic or experience mild infections and may be able to infect others. This is why even if you are fully vaccinated, you are now required to wear a mask indoors.
  • For masks to work properly, they need to completely cover your nose and mouth and fit snugly against the sides of your face and around your nose. Your mask should be made with two or more layers of tightly woven, breathable material.

How wearing a mask can slow the spread of COVID-19

COVID-19 spreads when an infected person breathes out droplets and very small particles that contain the virus. These droplets and particles can then be breathed in by other people or land on their eyes, noses, or mouth. 

  • Protect others: wearing a mask over your mouth and nose lowers the number of respiratory droplets and particles that you release into the air when you breathe or talk.
  • Protect yourself: wearing a mask over your mouth and nose also lowers the number of respiratory droplets and particles from someone else that get into your nose, mouth, and lungs.

What kind of mask should I wear

There are many types of masks you can use to protect against getting and spreading COVID- 19.  Choose a mask:

  • That fits snugly against your nose and chin with no large gaps around the sides of the face, AND
  • That has two or more layers of tightly woven or non-woven material, AND
  • That you will be comfortable wearing.
  • Recommendations for Wearing Masks - Minnesota Dept. of Health (state.mn.us), Your Guide to Masks - CDC

How to wear a mask properly

  • Wash your hands before putting on your mask and after taking it off.
  • A mask must cover the nose and mouth completely and fit snugly against your face without gaps. The mask should not be overly tight or restrictive and should feel comfortable to wear.
  • For children 2 years and older, find a mask that is made for children to help ensure proper fit. Children under age 2 should NOT wear a mask.
  • If you wear glasses, find a mask that fits closely over your nose or one that has a nose wire to limit fogging.
  • Do NOT touch the mask when wearing it. If you often have to touch or adjust your mask, it does not fit you properly and you may need to find a different mask or make adjustments.
  • Wash your mask after each time you wear it.
  • How to safely wear your mask

Communal spaces and multifamily housing

Social distancing and wearing face masks correctly continue to be effective at slowing the spread of COVID-19, including the Delta variant. Stay six feet away from other people while in common areas, limit the number of people in elevators, and wear masks while indoors in public spaces. 

Request accessible format

If you need help with this information, please email 311, or call 311 or 612-673-3000.

Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.

Contact us

Health Department

Environmental Health

Phone

612-673-3000

Address

Public Service Center
505 Fourth Ave S, Room 520
Minneapolis, MN 55415