Mask mandate ends today in Minnesota, masks still required in schools

Gov. Tim Walz announced Thursday that the state’s mask mandate will end today.

The Centers for Disease Control updated guidelines on mask-wearing for fully vaccinated Americans prior to the announcement.

Bemidji City Manager Nate Mathews said that masks, for those who are fully vaccinated, will also be phased out in Bemidji today.

More information on mask requirements in city-owned buildings is expected later this morning.

Last summer, the city council passed a mask mandate two days before Walz issued a statewide one.

Mathews clarified that the city has not had a mask mandate since that statewide order, despite what signs in the community may have continued to say.

Businesses may choose to still require masks for patrons while indoors.

For younger Bemidjians, Superintendent Tim Lutz says that masks will be required in schools and on buses through the end of this school year.

“Since the majority of Minnesota’s students are not yet fully vaccinated, the Minnesota Department of Education has directed that the current, existing face-covering guidance for schools and child care settings must remain in effect through the last day of school.”

“We are making great progress in our fight against COVID-19, but our school-age children have been significantly impacted by the virus in recent months, so we must continue to be diligent with health and safety practices through the remainder of the 2020-21 school year,” said MDE Commissioner Heather Meuller in a message to school administrators.

Fully vaccinated means two weeks after the second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines, or two weeks after the single Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Minnesotans who are not vaccinated are strongly encouraged to wear masks in indoor public spaces.

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