Emergency Regulation No. 2022-3
Whereas, on March 16, 2020, I declared a local public health emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic in the City of Minneapolis and assumed executive responsibilities attendant thereto; and
Whereas, pursuant to the authority granted to me pursuant to Minnesota Statutes, Ch. 12.29, and Minneapolis Code of Ordinances, Sections 128.50 and 128.60, I am authorized to promulgate emergency regulations to protect the public health, safety, and welfare during this declared emergency; and
Whereas, it is a priority that race and equity be of paramount consideration in enacting and carrying out emergency regulations during the COVID-19 pandemic; and
Whereas, the data shows that older individuals and those suffering from underlying conditions are prone to more severe disease; and, in Minneapolis, Black, Indigenous, people of color, and immigrant community members are testing at a higher rate; and
Whereas, public health experts have determined that it is possible to transmit COVID-19 even before a person shows symptoms; and
Whereas, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), because COVID-19 is primarily transmitted by respiratory droplets, population density plays a significant role in the acceleration of transmission and cities like Minneapolis, the densest city in the State of Minnesota, are at a higher risk while also serving a greater proportion of vulnerable populations; and
Whereas, during the public health emergency, state and local health authorities strongly encouraged all Minnesotans to wear a face covering when they leave their homes and travel to any indoor public setting where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g. grocery stores and pharmacies) and to follow relevant face covering guidelines issued by governmental health authorities; and
Whereas, since March 2020, the City has issued and rescinded numerous disease control and prevention regulations as needed to address the ebbs and flows of the COVID-19 pandemic; and
Whereas, since June 2021, the CDC identified new variants of the COVID-19 virus which are present in the United States and medical experts determined that some of these variants are significantly more contagious than previously known variants; and
Whereas, the COVID-19 Delta variant has been determined by the CDC to be a “variant of concern” due to its high transmissibility and continues to account for a large number of new cases sequenced in Minnesota and the City of Minneapolis, thereby substantially increasing the potential risk of infection and the spread of the virus through the community; and
Whereas, the COVID-19 Omicron variant, which has been identified in Minneapolis, has been determined by the CDC to be a “variant of concern” and appears to be easily transmitted; and
Whereas, the Omicron variant accounts for 68% of the cases in Minnesota; and
Whereas, 4.3% of all new COVID-19 cases have been in fully vaccinated individuals ages 12 and up in Minnesota as of the last reporting period (week of 11/28/21); and
Whereas, COVID-19 cases in the City of Minneapolis have trended upward since July 2021 with the community transmission rate exceeding 900 cases per 100,000 individuals, which puts the City in the CDC’s high-risk area category with associated increased rates of positive test cases; and
Whereas, the City of Minneapolis and the CDC continue to reinforce that the strongest defense against the Delta, Omicron, and other potentially dangerous variants is through vaccination, proper use of a face mask, avoidance of crowded spaces, good hand hygiene, and staying home when sick; and
Whereas, the City seeks to incentivize vaccination within its workforce as a means of addressing and combating the COVID-19 public health emergency; and
Whereas, on September 8, 2021, I promulgated Emergency Regulation No. 2021-5, which adopted the COVID-19 Testing and Proof of Vaccination Policy for certain defined City employees, elected officials, and interns; and
Whereas, Emergency Regulation No. 2020-21, as amended by Emergency Regulation No. 2021-5, provides eligible City of Minneapolis employees with paid COVID Emergency Sick Leave to be absent from work for specific reasons related to COVID-19; and
Whereas, on January 3, 2022, Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Administration adopted the Federal OSHA COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard (“ETS”), which requires the City of Minneapolis to adopt a written policy regarding the COVID-19 vaccination and testing requirements for its employees; and
Whereas, the ETS requires alterations to the City’s COVID-19 Testing and Proof of Vaccination Policy adopted pursuant to Emergency Regulation No. 2021-5; and
Whereas, to aid in our efforts, under the emergency authorities vested in the Mayor pursuant to the emergency declaration, to make and issue rules and regulations on matters reasonably related to the protection of life and property as affected by such emergency and adopt additional protections for the preservation of public health and safety.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Jacob Frey, Mayor of the City of Minneapolis, do hereby order the following emergency regulation:
- The City of Minneapolis rescinds the previously-adopted COVID-19 Testing and Proof of Vaccination Policy and adopts in its place the attached COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Alternative Policy, incorporated herein by reference.
- This Order is effective 5:00 p.m. (CST) January 7, 2022 and continuing until further notice or until it is extended, rescinded, superseded, or amended.
- The City Coordinator, in consultation with the Health Commissioner and Chief Human Resources Officer, is hereby directed to implement and monitor the requirements set forth in this Emergency Regulation and in the ETS, and to take such further actions as deemed necessary or advisable to protect the health and safety of City employees and individuals performing services for the City of Minneapolis.
January 7, 2022