Commissioner's Order Requires Masks on Band Property


Commissioner of Health and Human Services Nicole Anderson signed Commissioner’s Order 20-01 on May 27 requiring individuals to wear masks or cloth face coverings in Mille Lacs Band government facilities and Band-owned businesses.

"We know masks can help reduce the risk of spreading the disease, not just for those wearing them, but for others in our communities as well," said Commissioner Anderson. "Although masks are one of the best tools we have, they are not 100 percent effective, so it remains essential that we stay at home whenever possible, especially those of us with underlying health issues."

In light of recent develops outside of the Band's control, including the loosening of state restrictions and the increased traffic coming north, Band officials decided it was necessary to put new measures in place to protect our Elders and other vulnerable community members.

Commissioner Anderson also reminds Band members to wash their hands often and to practice social distancing when they need to leave the home.

The order, which goes into effect immediately and expires on August 31, applies to anyone over two years old who can medically tolerate a face covering, and it also requires that government personnel wear gloves when entering Band member residences to provide public services.

Government personnel and employees of Band-owned businesses are required to wear masks or cloth face coverings whenever they are in face-to-face contact with the public.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, wearing cloth face coverings in public settings can help slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Minnesota Governor Tim Walz’s May 13 executive order to begin safely reopening Minnesota’s economy also strongly recommends that Minnesotans wear masks and face coverings whenever they leave their homes.

Chief Executive Melanie Benjamin declared a State of Emergency for the Mille Lacs Band on March 15, 2020, in response to the worldwide outbreak of the COVID-19 virus.

A Stay Home order for Mille Lacs Band tribal lands went into effect on March 27 and remains in place.

Commissioner's Order Page 1
Commissioner's Order Page 2