Commissioner of Health and Human Services Nicole Anderson signed Commissioner's Order 20-03 extending the requirement for individuals to wear masks or cloth face coverings in Mille Lacs Band government facilities and Band-owned businesses until February 28, 2021.
The previous extension expires November 30, and the new order goes into effect December 1.
The initial order, Commissioner's Order 20-01, went into effect on May 27 and expired August 31. Commissioner's Order 20-02 extended the order through November 30.
"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."
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 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.