Update on Face Covering Requirements, May 17, 2021

Dear Campus Community,

Following new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance last week, Governor Tim Walz ended Minnesota’s statewide face covering requirement starting last Friday, May 14.

Minnesota State University, Mankato will follow the guidance of Governor Walz and state and federal public health officials. We have lifted the University’s face covering mandate for vaccinated individuals starting today. If you voluntarily wish to wear a mask, you may do so. 

Here is what you can expect on our campus and other University worksites (Hubbard Building, Edina and Iron Range):

  • If you are fully vaccinated, no masks are required in University buildings, venues, events or outdoor spaces (except where posted, such as in health clinics and in the dining facilities as described below). The definition of fully vaccinated is two weeks following the second Pfizer or Moderna dose or two weeks after the single Johnson and Johnson dose.
  • If you are not fully vaccinated, we expect you to wear a mask indoors. I also ask all community members to support anyone who chooses to wear a mask, noting that there could be many reasons one might do so.  
  • If you are working in leased facilities, local mask ordinances may apply.
  • Building capacity limits and physical distancing requirements will remain in place until May 28, based on the Governor’s announcement from earlier this month. We will provide an update on capacity and physical distancing requirements once the Governor relaxes these measures.   
  • Minnesota Department of Health guidance for dining services in higher education outlines the following requirements until noon on May 27.
    • Face coverings are required for employees and customers at all times unless they are seated and eating
    • Indoor seating has been changed from 4 to 10 people per table
    • 6 feet between tables is still a key requirement
    • Indoor occupancy has been set at no more than 75%

Please continue to take important public health precautions and stay home if you are sick. Despite increases in vaccination rates and the slowing pace of COVID-19 infections in Minnesota, the pandemic continues. We continue to encourage our staff and students to be vaccinated. There are vaccination sites all over Minnesota, and many are allowing walk-ins without appointments.

The lifting of the face covering mandate brings us one step closer to returning to our pre-pandemic ways of living, working and learning. An additional communication is forthcoming regarding what you can expect to experience on campus when everyone returns for fall semester. Until then, continue to be safe and well.


Richard Davenport