The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now recommending masks be worn indoors by all people (regardless of vaccination status) in counties that are reporting substantial or high levels of community transmission of COVID-19, and that's all 87 of them in Minnesota.

As of today every Minnesota county meets that criteria. The revised guidance comes as concerns grow regarding a nationwide spike in delta variant COVID-19 infections.

A few weeks ago the CDC announced that it was recommending vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals alike return to wearing masks indoors in parts of the U.S. where the delta variant of the coronavirus is fueling infection surges.

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This Week's Counties Now Recommended for Indoor Mask Wearing

CDC

The CDC Recommends Indoor Mask Wearing in These Central Minnesota Counties This Week

  • Benton County (high risk)
  • Douglas County (high risk)
  • Kandiyohi County (high risk)
  • Meeker County (high risk)
  • Mille Lacs County (high risk)
  • Morrison County (high risk)
  • Pope County (high risk)
  • Sherburne County (high risk)
  • Stearns County (high risk)
  • Todd County (high risk)
  • Wright County (substantial risk)

Just four of Minnesota's 87 counties are not rated as 'high' transmission risk. Kittson, Lake, Pipestone, and Wadena Counties are categorized as having 'substantial risk.'

Centers for Disease Control

As students prepare to return to school for the new year, only Saint Cloud and Sartell-St. Stephen school districts are requiring indoor mask wearing in central Minnesota.

The Minnesota Department of Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control is also recommending that all K-12 students, teachers, staff and visitors wear masks inside school buildings to start the new school year, regardless of vaccination status.

Many of the central Minnesota districts not requiring mask wearing are still recommending and encouraging the use of masks.

The University of Minnesota has announced that everyone indoors on campus (vaccinated & unvaccinated) must wear a mask. SCSU is planning on following that plan. CSB/SJU is requiring vaccinations.

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LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.