- News & Updates
- Business Assistance & FAQs
- City Services & Facilities
- Vaccination updates
- COVID parks and trails rules
- Jobs & Employment Information
- I'm vaccinated. Now what?
Mayor Scott Sherman issued a press release on August 25, 2021 requiring face masks to be worn indoors and in outdoor public settings where physical distancing may be difficult. The Winona City Council met on Friday, August 27, 2021 to review and vote on the Resolution to require face coverings. The motion was rescinded, the mask order has ended.
Mayor Scott Sherman has proclaimed a citywide mask order that takes effect at 12:01 am on Thursday, August 26. The order will last 30 days, unless the Winona City Council votes to end it or extend it.
The order requires all Winona residents and visitors to wear face coverings in indoor businesses and areas open to the public.
A large reason for this order is supporting the local economy: The order intends to keep businesses open, allow schools and universities to continue to be fully open this fall, and more.
Here are answers to several questions about the citywide order. If you have further specific questions, please visit contact city staff at 507-457-8234.
Businesses may use this door sign to communicate the citywide mask order to the public.
NOTE: The guidelines below apply only to the local order, effective only within the city of Winona. Businesses that are licensed and regulated at the state and federal levels may already be operating under different or more stringent orders, all of which would supersede this order.
Do businesses have to require customers and employees to wear masks?
If the business is open to the general public, yes. Otherwise, masks are only required in areas of the business open to the general public (entrances, exits, lobbies, waiting rooms, etc.).
What counts as a mask or face covering?
A mask, or face covering, is a manufactured or homemade cloth covering that fully covers an individual’s nose and mouth. Items like bandanas or masks improvised in a pinch (like a t-shirt) count — just make sure they're fully covering the nose and mouth.
What if an employee or customer presents a legitimate health concern that prevents them from wearing a mask? How do I deal with this?
There's no definitive answer, so your own HR department is your friend here. There’s no formal exemption application. And we’re certainly not asking people to carry papers or wear signs. We're really relying on folks — customers, employees, everyone — to use common sense, good judgment, and lots of compassion. Different businesses will take different approaches. This order is not a perfect solution, but it's the best step we're able to take at this time.
What’s up with these so-called exemption cards people are printing out?
Don’t fall for the bogus "exemption cards" claiming that mask orders violate ADA and HIPAA laws. They aren't true. The Department of Justice has issued a nationwide warning that they are inaccurate, and says: “The ADA does not provide a blanket exemption to people with disabilities from complying with legitimate safety requirements necessary for safe operations.”
What happens if customers don’t comply?
Customers should be asked to leave the business or area. If they refuse, or become aggressive, the business is asked to call the police. The police will speak to the person and ask them to leave. If they still refuse, they may be cited for trespassing.
What happens if employees don’t comply?
This is a conversation for you and your HR department to have. Different businesses will take different approaches, depending on the circumstances.
What happens if businesses don’t comply?
Businesses that violate the order may face administrative action for any licenses they possess with the city.
GUIDELINES BY BUSINESS CATEGORY
Required for employees and customers. Exceptions are for employees in areas not accessible to the general public, like stock rooms and break rooms, and outdoors.
BARS AND RESTAURANTS
Required for employees and customers unless the customers are seated at tables or barstools. Not required for customers seated outdoors as long as tables/seating arrangements are at least 6 feet apart.
Required for visitors and employees in areas open to the general public. Otherwise strongly encouraged whenever employees are not able to maintain 6 feet of physical distance, and in common areas and break rooms.
TRADES AND PROFESSIONAL SERVICES
Required for employees and customers in areas open to the general public. Employees are otherwise not required to wear masks, though they’re strongly urged to respect the wishes of their customers.
HEALTHCARE, HEALTH, WELLNESS, BEAUTY
Required for employees and customers in areas open to the general public, anywhere there is not an existing face covering requirement. Strongly recommended for employees and customers during appointments as much as possible, and according to state/federal guidelines.
GYMS, YOGA, FITNESS STUDIOS (INCLUDES GYMNASTICS, HOCKEY ARENAS, CLIMBING WALLS)
Required for employees and customers in areas open to the general public. Not required during workouts or classes as long as users are practicing physical distancing of at least 6 feet. Users are strongly urged to wear them when transitioning to and from workout stations/areas.
PUBLIC AND FOR-HIRE TRANSPORTATION
Required for employees and customers at all times while inside the vehicle, and while entering and exiting.
Required in areas open to the general public (lobbies, pre-ticketing waiting areas, etc.), when traveling to and from seats and other areas, but not while seated.
LODGING AND HOSPITALITY
Required for employees and customers in areas open to the general public.
Not required. Operators are asked to set their own requirements and follow state/federal guidelines. Children may be asked to wear masks if they are taken to places where they are required, like retail stores.
CHURCHES & FAITH ORGANIZATIONS
Not required while seated, as long as households are seated at least 6 feet apart. Required for individuals while walking to and from their seats or while in public areas, such as lobbies or restrooms.
SCHOOLS & UNIVERSITIES
Not required, as schools and universities have set their own requirements for safety and mask-wearing.
BUSINESSES PRIMARILY OPERATING OUTDOORS
Not required. This order is for indoor spaces only.
City Hall is open 8:30am to 4pm to the public, accessible through the main Lafayette Street door and adjacent accessible entrance and ramp.
Visitors should not come to City Hall if they feel ill or have been knowingly exposed to COVID-19. Visitors should limit time in the building to 15 minutes, wear a mask, and maintain physical distance. Elevators will be open, and restrooms on the second floor available for public use.
Buses require regular fares. Riders are required to wear face masks or coverings and practice physical distancing. Buses are running on normal routes. Schedules have changed: Drivers have eliminated every third route in order to deep-clean the buses. View and download the current schedule effective until September 6, 2021(PDF). For schedule beginning September 7, 2021, see the Winona Transit Service page.
The library is open. Patrons are encouraged to use the Library’s website and online resources.
The Friendship Center is open. Keep up to date at the Friendship Center's website.
Parks & Recreation
Parks and outdoor and indoor spaces are open. Visit the Park & Recreation homepage for more details on facility use, reservations, and restrictions.
Winona County Public Health and Winona County Emergency Management are leading and coordinating all vaccination efforts in the city and county.
Contact Winona County Public Health for information about vaccination availability, questions, or to schedule an appointment for a vaccination.
The City of Winona Parks and Recreation programs and facilities operate in compliance with CDC guidelines. The City of Winona recommends the following protocols for the health and safety of its valued citizens.
- Use of facilities, parks, and park amenities is at your own risk.
- Practice social distancing and avoid close contact with others. The CDC recommends a minimum of 6 feet distance to help reduce the risk of spread between individuals.
- Wash or sanitize your hands before, during, and after visiting the parks.
Hiking & Mountain Bike Trails - OPEN
Trails remain open to cyclists, hikers, runners, and walkers. Follow posted rules and notifications.
Playgrounds, Parks, and Paths - OPEN
- Please keep children physically distant from one another as much as possible.
- Wash or sanitize your hands before, during, and after.
- Playgrounds are not sanitized, use at your own risk.
- The paths around East and West Lake Winona are open.
- Dogs are not allowed on the East Lake Winona path, and must be leashed on the West Lake Winona path.
Fields: Softball / Soccer - OPEN
- Fields are open for organized and unorganized activities. A permit is required to obtain exclusive use of the fields (ex. Camps, leagues, clinics.) Contact the Parks & Recreation Department for more information.
Recreation Centers – OPEN
- Visitors are asked to comply with posted modifications at individual recreation centers.
View more information about Parks & Recreation.
COVID-19 has created significant challenges for local workers who may have been laid off, furloughed, or working reduced hours. The city is committed to sharing accurate, up-to-date information to help connect folks to critical resources during this time.
Minnesota Unemployment Benefits
Apply for unemployment benefits here, find contact info, and get answers to frequently asked questions.
You may be eligible for unemployment benefits if:
- You have temporarily or permanently lost your job or had your hours reduced because of COVID-19.
- You are a contract, freelance, or self-employed worker affected by COVID-19
- A healthcare professional or health authority recommended or ordered you to avoid contact with others due to COVID-19.
- You have been ordered not to come to their workplace due to an outbreak of COVID-19.
- You have received notification from a school district, daycare, or other childcare provider that either classes are canceled or your usual childcare is unavailable, as long as you made a reasonable effort to find other childcare and requested time off or other accommodation from your employer and no reasonable accommodation was available.
Worker Rights & Protections During COVID-19
- COVID-19 worker protections
- Health and safety resources for businesses
- Payment for changes in hours, including overtime
- Work breaks and rest periods
- Minnesota OSHA inspections
- Filing workplace complaints
If you have questions or want to contact a Labor and Industry representative, visit this page for email and phone numbers.
- Minnesota Careerforce Center: Good general and statewide resources, advice, tips and best practices for navigating and seeking jobs during COVID-19.
- Winona Careerforce Center
- Address: 1250 Homer Road, Suite 200 (at Minnesota State Southeast, next to the main entrance
- Phone: 507-205-6060
- Email the Center
- Hours: Online and remote appointments only; call or email for details.
- Details: Part of a network of state-funded Centers that offer free one-on-one guidance, training, networking, labor market information and more to help individuals start, advance or change their career.
- Express Employment Professionals
- Address: 1600 Gilmore Avenue
- Complete an online contact form.
Details: Express Employment Professionals puts people to work in all types of jobs. Whether you’re looking for a short-term job to supplement your income or you’re building a new career, we offer the flexibility to work the way you want, and you’ll never pay a fee to Express for our services and support.
- Looking for essential workers? Express can help your business hire drivers, warehouse/forklift operators, machine operators, maintenance/janitorial/sanitation, and eCommerce/customer service workers. Email Mike Dieter for more information.
- Manpower Winona
- Address: 601 Huff Street
- Email Manpower Winona
- Details: You can count on Manpower to find qualified applicants to fill full-time and part-time job openings in Winona, MN. Experience the difference with our online job search, expert career specialists, and personalized job placement.
Winona Job Boards
As more and more residents get vaccinated, we’re here to answer your questions about which behaviors are again safe to engage in, which aren’t - and which you just need to be patient for.
Here are answers to common questions we’ve had so far from folks who have been vaccinated:
Can I gather with other vaccinated people, no masks or physical distancing?
Yes! It’s safest for everyone to be at least two weeks out from their second shot.
Can I gather with other unvaccinated family, no masks or physical distancing?
Yes - but just unvaccinated people from one other household at low risk of severe illness.
Is it okay to be unmasked around kids, like my grandkids?
If it’s just one household, yes. If it’s a group of unrelated kids, you should still wear a mask and physically distance. Vaccinations mostly haven’t reached children yet. Children have generally responded much better to COVID but the risk is still there.
I’ve been exposed - do I need to get tested or quarantine?
No. The CDC says neither are necessary unless you’re experiencing symptoms. Note: This advice only starts two weeks after your second shot. If you’re not there yet, consider quarantining for 7 days just to be safe.
I’ve heard the vaccine won’t prevent me from getting or spreading COVID. Is that true?
Yes - but. Yes you can still get COVID - but your immune system will recognize it so you’re much more likely to be asymptomatic or have a very mild case. Yes you can still spread COVID - but likely not nearly as strongly. The science is new and there’s a lot we don’t know yet so be patient - info is likely to change.
Why do I still have to wear a mask in public?
Many people have yet to be vaccinated, and we’re still a ways away from herd immunity or a similar milestone where masks may no longer be as effective at preventing COVID spread.
How long will we be wearing masks in public?
Hard to say. Expect it to last at least the next several months as vaccinations continue. The timeline may vary state to state. And masks may never completely go away - they may still be required during seasonal surges or at other times.
I’m a teacher. Do I still need to wear a mask and physically distance?
Yes. You can still get and transmit COVID, even at lower levels. And the vast majority of children are not vaccinated yet.
Should I have posted that photo of my vaccination card on social media?
Anything with even basic personal info can put you at risk for identity theft. But it’s exciting and historic, for sure - so if you want to share, a good approach is to hold your thumb or hand over personal info, or mark it out with your phone’s photo editor before posting.
Where can I travel?
Travel opportunities and restrictions don’t really change once you’re vaccinated. You will still be asked to practice the same behaviors as the general public - masks, physical distancing. And remember - you’re still capable of getting and spreading COVID.
What’s with all the talk about a vaccination passport?
It’s just that - talk. Some have suggested that vaccinated folks be issued documents proving they’ve been vaccinated, which would in theory provide them with access to certain places, a broader ability to travel, or exemptions from masks or other behaviors. But there’s been little interest by states or the federal government in considering anything like this, and a ton of complications and legal questions about whether it would even work.
I lost my vaccination card - how do I get a new one?
Call the Winona County Public Health Department of the county where you were vaccinated. The number for Winona County is 507-457-6400.
I live in one county or state and was vaccinated in another. How do I get my records transferred?
Two ways. Contact Winona County Public Health Department where you were vaccinated (Winona County's number is 507-457-6400) and ask them to transfer the record, or tell your medical provider - they can enter your info into the state's immunization records.
Sources: Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Mayo Clinic, Minnesota Department of Health, Washington Post