Governor Tim Walz may annouce a decision on requiring masks be worn inside public spaces, though he indicated Wednesday that any such determination might not be as simple as making it mandatory everywhere in the state.
COVID-19 is suspected to be everywhere in Minnesota, though only the cases involving patients with positive diagnostic tests reveal precisely where it is.
There are many counties where there are fewer than 100 confirmed cases, Northwest Minnesota highest at this time is 82 and Lake of the Woods County at the northern tip of the state has yet to have a laboratory-confirmed case.
Walz said that a recent study shows that as many as 1,700 Minnesota lives could be saved by November if 95 percent of Minnesotans conform to wearing masks in public spaces.
Other estimates with a universal mask policy are far lower, one such estimate projects that approximately 100-500 lives could be saved in Minnesota by November if a mask-wearing mandate is issued.
Mandated, public-indoor mask wearing has been recommended by both the Minnesota Medical Association and a national retailer organization.