LUVERNE, Minn. (KELO) — A necessary precaution, or a case of government overreach? People in Minnesota have mixed reactions about being required to wear masks to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Gov. Tim Walz has signed an executive order to deal with a rise in cases, requiring people to wear face coverings in all public indoor spaces and businesses.
Masks are already a summer staple of protective attire for many people along Main Street in Luverne, Minnesota.
“Coming and wearing it when you’re around people, I think it’s good,” Linda Heitkamp of Luverne, Minn. said.
Wearing masks will no longer be a personal choice in Minnesota, now that the governor is ordering everyone to mask-up, starting this weekend.
“I think it’s going to be important, in order to get rid of this virus and until we all group together and put our masks on, it’s going to be here until we do something about it,” Heitkamp said.
“I think it’s a good thing, I think it will help keep people protected and hopefully get rid of this COVID virus, so we can all go back to normal,” Tyler Johnson of Luverne, Minn. said.
While many Minnesotans say the mandate will make people safer, others see it as a nuisance and an infringement of their rights.
“I think it’s the wrong thing to do, to be honest with you. Number-one, it’s hard to breathe and I think we should have freedom of choice,” William Burnside of Luverne, MN said.
William Burnside says he’ll grudgingly go ahead and wear a face-covering once the governor’s order takes effect. While opponents of a mask mandate frame the debate as a threat to personal freedoms, supporters say those rights don’t extend to spreading the virus to other people.
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz compares pushback to the mask mandate to that of the state’s earlier smoking bans and seat belt laws. He says there was opposition at first, but then they became the norm.
To find out where in Minnesota you’ll need to mask-up, and in what situations you can remove your mask, click here