Mask Requirements Are Starting To Come Back In Minnesota
I really thought this mask stuff was behind us. We had a real shot at putting this pandemic behind us but due to the lower than expected vaccination rate around the country and right here in Minnesota, it's become necessary to start requiring masks again.
The University of Minnesota just announced the masks will now be required in all indoor spaces of the University of Minnesota. This includes all classrooms, facilities and offices statewide, even if the location is not in a high transmission area and regardless of vaccination status. The face mask requirement starts tomorrow (Tue 8/3).
Joan Gabel, University of Minnesota president released this letter to faculty and students;
Dear students, faculty, and staff,
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the University has closely monitored national, state, and local guidance on public health and safety precautions. We continue to do so, especially as COVID-19 transmission rates fluctuate. The Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus appears to be much more easily transmitted, resulting in new CDC guidance on masking announced this week. This guidance recommends that in any county where the COVID transmission rate is shown to be substantial or high, individuals wear facial coverings while indoors, whether vaccinated or not.
Relying on this guidance and with the advice of our University public health experts, effective tomorrow, August 3, we are reinstituting the requirement that all students, staff, faculty, contractors, and visitors to our campuses, offices, and facilities, statewide, wear facial coverings while indoors, regardless of your vaccination status. Voluntary mask wearing today, August 2, is encouraged. Masks or facial coverings are not required outdoors.
Wearing a mask or facial covering indoors has been shown to slow the transmission of COVID-19 and, as we saw as a nation, virtually eliminate other airborne illnesses like the flu. This requirement applies to all of our campuses and offices statewide, whether a given location is in a substantial or high transmission county or not.
Please note that vaccines are highly effective against the Delta variant. We strongly encourage you to “Get the Vax” today.
We are committed to protecting the health of our community, and to adjusting as new information and circumstances dictate. Your adherence to our University Face Covering Protocol, regardless of your vaccination status, is both required and appreciated.
Lastly, I want to acknowledge each and every one of you for your patience, your voice and advocacy, and your commitment to each other’s well-being. This is a long journey but I’m grateful for this community as we take these important next steps together.
With warm regards and appreciation,
The University of Minnesota isn't alone in this. Grand Casinos of Minnesota also has announce that face masks will be required to be worn in their casinos and Walmarts in Minnesota will most likely follow suit with the Wilmar Walmart and require face masks in their stores. Target stores are also jumping on the bandwagon. Starting tomorrow (8/3), all employees and customers o Target will be required to be masked up.
I see a trend building. I would assume more will follow with the Delta Variant spreading fast and the vaccination rate not reaching 70% as hoped. We may be right back where we started from. The fact that close to 99% of COVID hospitalizations and deaths are among the unvaccinated, I would hope the vaccination rate would soon kick into high gear.
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