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Minnesota recommending everyone wear masks in school this fall

Also urging COVID vaccinations for everyone 12 years and older.

Posted: Jul 28, 2021 12:19 PM
Updated: Jul 28, 2021 12:56 PM

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) is recommending all students, teachers, staff, and visitors wear masks inside school buildings whether they’ve been vaccinated or not.

MDE says it is following the new CDC guidance on COVID-19 prevention in schools. Among the other recommendations:

- All people ages 12 years and older should get vaccinated for COVID-19 before returning to in-person school, sports, or other activities to protect themselves and people around them who cannot get vaccinated.

- Schools should maintain at least 3 feet of physical distance between students within classrooms whenever possible.

- Students, teachers, and staff should stay home if they have signs of any infectious illness, and should contact their health care provider for testing and care.

- Students, teachers, and staff who have been fully vaccinated do not need to stay home even if they have had recent close contact with a confirmed case so long as they remain asymptomatic and do not test positive.

- People who are not fully vaccinated and returning to in-person school, sports, or extracurricular activities (and their families) should get tested regularly for COVID-19 according to CDC guidance.

MDE emphasizes that these recommendations are not mandates which must be followed, they do “it does represent the most current science-based best practices for safe in-person learning.”

“In-person learning is critical, not only when it comes to academics, but also for our students’ social-emotional well-being and mental health,” says Minnesota Education Commissioner Dr. Heather Mueller. “As we head back to school this fall, we must implement measures to protect the health and safety of all of our students, staff and families.”

Minnesota Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm says the basic tools for fighting COVID-19 remain the same even as the virus itself has evolved into new variants that spread more easily from person to person and make containment more challenging.

“Vaccination, masking, and physical distancing remain our best public health prevention strategies for slowing the spread of COVID-19,” says Malcolm. “The Delta variant is proving to have an alarming ability to spread more easily, so it’s more important than ever that anyone eligible for vaccination get that protection as soon as possible, and follow the CDC’s guidance for continued masking, distancing and other prevention strategies to help avoid the widespread illnesses and community impacts we saw during the last school year.”

Minnesota GOP Education Leads Rep. Ron Kresha (R-Little Falls) and Rep. Sondra Erickson (R-Princeton) released the following reaction to MDE's announcement:

“These are decisions that should be made at the local level with the involvement of students and parents, and with no undue influence or pressure from the Minnesota Department of Education to implement these recommendations. Our parents, teachers, and local school districts have the experience and expertise necessary to make the decision that’s right for their schools, and we need to trust them to do so.”

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 681613

Reported Deaths: 8076
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1403921855
Ramsey58542944
Dakota52093497
Anoka48037479
Washington30637309
Stearns24839240
St. Louis20269335
Scott19626145
Wright18499163
Olmsted15792110
Sherburne13522100
Carver1206952
Clay915295
Rice9104120
Blue Earth866347
Crow Wing7797102
Kandiyohi744188
Chisago711658
Otter Tail666691
Benton6439101
Mower558038
Winona554452
Goodhue550080
Douglas535484
Itasca516671
Beltrami504672
McLeod501463
Steele500921
Isanti490170
Morrison467563
Nobles448650
Becker434559
Polk433675
Freeborn429538
Lyon394254
Carlton389559
Nicollet377647
Pine373726
Mille Lacs354360
Brown346443
Cass343035
Le Sueur340829
Todd321734
Meeker304749
Waseca288625
Martin261933
Wabasha24334
Dodge24064
Hubbard232241
Roseau231723
Houston203816
Renville199548
Redwood198242
Fillmore194710
Pennington190221
Wadena185126
Faribault179725
Cottonwood176624
Sibley175810
Chippewa171239
Kanabec164129
Aitkin155038
Watonwan155011
Rock138519
Jackson134712
Pope13058
Yellow Medicine125120
Pipestone125026
Swift117119
Koochiching116519
Murray115110
Stevens112211
Marshall103518
Clearwater101918
Lake91021
Wilkin89614
Lac qui Parle84824
Big Stone6814
Mahnomen6819
Grant6718
Lincoln6524
Norman6509
Kittson53322
Unassigned51593
Red Lake4777
Traverse4215
Lake of the Woods3884
Cook2120

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 432122

Reported Deaths: 6339
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk67341672
Linn25698353
Scott22828261
Black Hawk19121334
Woodbury16940233
Johnson1659690
Dubuque14547218
Pottawattamie13058183
Dallas12746102
Story1187148
Warren685993
Webster6304102
Cerro Gordo6212102
Clinton620097
Des Moines594482
Muscatine5781108
Unassigned57410
Marshall564280
Sioux542775
Jasper516575
Lee511078
Wapello4993128
Buena Vista472942
Marion449083
Plymouth434083
Henry339940
Jones331158
Bremer325365
Crawford321644
Carroll317053
Washington315754
Benton312656
Boone308736
Mahaska275453
Dickinson270846
Kossuth251471
Jackson246044
Clay245729
Tama238273
Delaware234643
Buchanan233938
Hardin230847
Page221624
Cedar220525
Fayette220345
Wright217641
Winneshiek215937
Hamilton211752
Harrison198875
Clayton194458
Madison193820
Butler188836
Floyd187742
Mills185224
Poweshiek181036
Cherokee179440
Iowa176425
Allamakee176252
Lyon174441
Jefferson169138
Calhoun168313
Hancock167335
Winnebago164231
Grundy158835
Cass155556
Louisa154949
Shelby151739
Appanoose151249
Emmet149541
Franklin148524
Humboldt147226
Sac144722
Union144237
Mitchell141643
Guthrie138132
Chickasaw137518
Palo Alto131124
Clarke125024
Montgomery122239
Keokuk116232
Howard115622
Monroe114033
Ida107538
Davis103125
Pocahontas99023
Greene98012
Adair95334
Monona94733
Lucas94523
Worth9268
Osceola83717
Decatur74510
Fremont74111
Taylor72412
Van Buren70919
Wayne65123
Ringgold62226
Audubon58414
Adams3914
Rochester
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