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Minneapolis (KROC AM News) - Due to the growing spread of the Delta variant of the Covid-19 virus, the University of Minnesota is bringing back its mask mandate, effective Tuesday.

According to the school’s president, all students, staff, faculty, contractors, and visitors to U of M campuses, offices, and facilities, will have to wear facial coverings while indoors, regardless of vaccination status.

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This requirement applies to all campuses and offices statewide, whether a given location is in a substantial or high transmission county or not.

The university in June announced it will not require students, faculty, and staff to be Covid vaccinated prior to the beginning of the fall semester. That recommendation has not yet been changed.

Here is the letter from U of M President Joan Gabel:

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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