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St Paul (KROC AM News) - The mayors of Minnesota’s two largest cities have decided they will keep their face-covering mandates in place, even as Gov. Tim Walz is ending his order.

Although the state’s Covid-related mask mandate is being lifted in most situations for fully vaccinated Minnesotans, Walz is allowing local governments and businesses to make their own decisions.

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Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey says he will continue the policy in place “while we review the data, consult our health experts, and analyze the unique circumstances and vaccination rates for our communities across our city.”

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter says he will keep his order in effect “as we work with our public health professionals to determine when masking measures can be safely lifted at the local level.”

Rochester Mayor Kim Norton told KROC News this week she intends to follow the governor’s lead on the face-covering issue but would consider discussing it with the city council if serious local concerns are raised.

Norton says she has received calls from constituents who are concerned about dropping the requirement to wear masks while indoors at public places. Many are concerned about their unvaccinated children.

Norton says she would feel better about dropping the requirement if the local vaccination rate was higher, perhaps as high as 90-percent but she won’t consider an emergency order without consulting with the city council.

Rochester adopted a face-covering order July 8th last year, nearly three weeks before the governor issued his order.

News update:  Rochester police looking for playground exposer.

The 25 Best Places to Live in Minnesota

Stacker compiled a list of the best places to live in Minnesota using data from Niche. Niche ranks places to live based on a variety of factors including cost of living, schools, health care, recreation, and weather. Cities, suburbs, and towns were included. Listings and images are from realtor.com.

On the list, there's a robust mix of offerings from great schools and nightlife to high walkability and public parks. Some areas have enjoyed rapid growth thanks to new businesses moving to the area, while others offer glimpses into area history with well-preserved architecture and museums. Keep reading to see if your hometown made the list.

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