May 13, 21
Dear School Leaders,
This evening, Governor Walz announced an end to the statewide mask requirement. This announcement follows new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), stating that fully vaccinated individuals no longer need to wear a mask. Executive Order 21-23 will be effective immediately upon approval by the Minnesota Executive Council, which is scheduled to meet tomorrow. Minnesotans who are not fully vaccinated are strongly recommended to wear face coverings indoors.
The CDC has not yet provided clear guidance for school settings, but has stated that they expect to update guidance for children in school and summer camps soon. Additionally, our youngest Minnesotans remain ineligible for vaccines and eligibility for 12- to 15-year-olds was just announced this week. As a result, Minnesota’s Safe Learning Plan, along with the existing face covering guidance for schools and child care settings, remain in effect. Through the end of the 2020-21 school year (last teacher contact day), masks must continue to be worn by everyone inside school buildings or on a school bus.
As previously announced, proms, graduations and other end-of-year celebrations should continue to follow the Stay Safe - Entertainment Venue guidance. This guidance will continue to be updated.
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.
Thank you for your continued partnership and leadership,
Heather Mueller, Ed.D. Commissioner of Education