The Austin City Council unanimously voted in favor of a resolution at their regularly scheduled meeting Monday evening strongly recommending members of the general public wear face masks or coverings while in public for the next 30 days to help limit the spread of COVID-19.  KAUS spoke with Austin Mayor Tom Stiehm during the “Meet the Mayor” segment on “Wright Here, Right Now” who stated that the issue will come before the council again at their next meeting if Governor Tim Walz has not implemented a statewide mandate to wear masks in public by that time…

While the use of masks and coverings does not prevent the wearer from contracting the coronavirus, the Center for Disease Control and Minnesota Department of Health recommends wearing them as a means of source control to limit the wearer from infecting others.

The CDC recommends wearing face coverings in a public setting and when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. Face coverings should not be worn by children under the age of 2 or by anyone who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance

Cities in Minnesota that have mandated the wearing of masks in indoor public spaces include Rochester, Mankato, Minneapolis, St. Paul, Duluth, Edina, Excelsior, Minnetonka, Shoreview, St. Cloud, St. Louis Park and White Bear Lake.  The Minnesota Legislature adjourned its second special session of 2020 early Tuesday morning, again without passing a bonding bill for state public works projects.  Mayor Stiehm stated that the bill includes $19 million in funding for the city’s wastewater treatment facility renovation project….

The issue is expected to be addressed yet again in another special session coming up in August.  The next regularly scheduled meeting for the Austin City Council will be held on Monday, August 3rd at 5:30 p.m.