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U of M college students will be required to wear masks

U of M college students will be required to wear masks Photo: KSTP-TV

WDIO
Updated: August 02, 2021 10:33 AM
Created: August 02, 2021 10:28 AM

The administration for the University of Minnesota announced Monday they will require all students, staff and faculty to wear facial coverings while indoors, regardless of their vaccination status. This action will take place on all campuses in the University of Minnesota system, including the University of Minnesota Duluth.  It will go into effect on Tuesday, August 3.  According to a statement from the Office of the President, the University has closely monitored national, state, and local guidance on public health and safety precautions.

"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," Gabel stated in the letter, in part.

Research shows the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus appears to be much more easily transmitted, and the CDC updated their guidance on masking. The 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. 

Gabel noted masks or facial coverings are not required outdoors. The university also encourages people to get vaccinated. 

"Please note that vaccines are highly effective against the delta variant. We strongly encourage you to 'Get the Vax' today," the letter reads. 

Here is a statement from the President of the University of Minnesota:

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,

Joan Gabel

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