Grand Forks Health Officer issues order to continue mask mandate

Grand Forks Health Officer, Dr. Joel Walz, has issued a Health Officer Order that will continue the requirement of masks or face coverings for all residents within Grand Forks County to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. This order will go into effect January 18, 2021 at 12:01 a.m. 

Remaining consistent with the Statewide mask order, the Grand Forks Health Officer’s order requires face coverings to be worn in indoor businesses and indoor public settings as well as outdoor public settings where physical distancing is not possible.  This order maintains exceptions for children under the age of five, individuals with medical or mental health conditions or disabilities that make it unreasonable to wear a mask, and when an individual is participating in a religious service. 

“Universal masking policies can help to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community,” Dr. Walz stated. “Masks protect not only the people around the individual wearing the mask but also the mask wearer. This is a simple and critical tool in helping protect our communities and slowing the spread of COVID-19. Keeping the mask order in place is an additional mitigation mechanism especially as we get our most vulnerable population vaccinated and get through the peak of influenza season.” 

The Health Officer order will take effect at 12:01 a.m., January 18, 2021. Masks and face coverings have been shown to reduce the spread of COVID-19 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.