Minneapolis City Council extends health emergency amid delta variant spread

On Friday, the Minneapolis City Council passed an emergency resolution approving and extending the mayor’s declaration of a local public health emergency in response to COVID-19. The resolution was originally adopted on March 16, 2020.

The emergency declaration remains in effect through Nov. 7, unless determined otherwise by an official action of the city council, according to an update Friday.

Minneapolis, along with the majority of the Twin Cities area, is in the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)’s high-risk category as of Friday. The community transmission rate exceeds 100 cases per 100,000 individuals and increased rates of positive test cases since July. This potential risk of infection and the spread of the virus through the community has created a public health concern.

The emergency order will allow the city to conduct the upcoming election with safety precautions in place. Voters will be asked to wear face masks when voting in person, either during the early absentee voting period starting Sept. 17 or at the polling places on Nov. 2. Disposable masks will be offered and the city will follow additional health and sanitation protocols in all polling locations to protect both voters and city employees.

In addition, the extension means that public meetings of the city council, its committees, and the city’s various appointed boards and commissions will continue to be done via the online virtual meeting platform through Nov. 7.

To see the full resolution, click here.