Face Coverings

Minnesota State University, Mankato follows the guidance of state and federal public health officials.

Effective Monday, August 9, all students, employees, visitors, contractors and vendors of Minnesota State Mankato are required to wear a face covering over both the nose and mouth in all public indoor spaces regardless of vaccination status. This action is being employed under MDH and Minnesota State system guidance and in care for the wellbeing of our campus community.

Face Covering UPDATE - Aug. 6, 2021

Face Covering FAQ

Appropriate Face Coverings

Updated guidance from the CDC and MDH recommends that everyone, both fully vaccinated and unvaccinated, wear a mask in indoor businesses and public settings and crowded outdoor settings in areas with substantial or high transmission. They also recommend wearing a high-quality mask to help limit the spread of COVID-19. This recommendation includes wearing a N95 or KN95 mask, a well-fitting mask with at least two layers of tightly woven fabric or layering a disposable mask under a cloth mask.  The resources below provide additional information on masking:

  • CDC guidance on masking is available at Your Guide to Masks
  • MDH masking guidance is available at Recommendations for Wearing Masks
  • Do not wear face coverings made of thinner, loosely woven, or single-layer fabric such as certain types of masks, scarves, neck gaiters, or bandannas. They are not as effective for blocking droplets that come out when speaking, coughing, or sneezing. If you wear a scarf or neck gaiter for warmth, also wear a mask underneath it.
  • Any masks that incorporate a valve that is designed to facilitate easy exhaling, mesh masks, or masks with openings, holes, visible gaps in the design or material, or vents are NOT sufficient face coverings because they allow droplets to be released from the mask.
  • Other face coverings expressly approved by the University.

Masks or cloth coverings can be purchased or handmade. There is not a list of approved vendors. When buying or making a face covering, remember to check that it meets the following requirements:

  • Completely covers the mouth and nose.
  • Is not overly tight or restrictive.
  • The face covering must not be made of mesh or other fabric with holes and must not have a valve designed to facilitate easy exhaling or other openings, holes, visible gaps in the design or material, or vents.

How to wear a mask

  • Wash your hands before putting on your mask and after taking it off.
  • A mask must cover the nose and mouth completely and fit snugly against your face without gaps. The mask should not be overly tight or restrictive and should feel comfortable to wear.
  • If you wear glasses, find a mask that fits closely over your nose or one that has a nose wire to limit fogging.
  • Do NOT touch the mask when wearing it. If you often have to touch or adjust your mask, it does not fit you properly and you may need to find a different mask or make adjustments.
  • Wash your mask after each time you wear it.

Face Shields

  • Face shields can be used in conjunction with a mask any time the user wishes. Use of both may be necessary for higher risk activities.
  • Face shields may be used by faculty while conducting lecture in a classroom provided 6-foot distancing can be maintained with students.
  • Masks should be worn going to and from the classroom or if the faculty member cannot maintain the 6-foot social distancing.
  • Other uses of a face shield in lieu of masks should be for medical reasons only.

Caring for Cloth face coverings

Cloth masks like those provided to members of the University community must be washed regularly.

  • Remove your face mask by touching only the ear loops or ties. Be careful not to touch your eyes, nose, and mouth when removing and wash hands immediately after removing.

  • Include your face mask with your regular laundry, using regular laundry detergent and warm water. Use the highest dryer setting possible and leave until completely dry. You can also air dry your mask: lay it flat and allow it to completely dry. Place mask in direct sunlight if possible.

  • To hand wash your mask, scrub with hot, soapy water for at least 20 seconds. Dry on high heat in the dryer.


Members of the University community are expected to behave responsibly and show respect for the health and safety of others. Any employee, student, or visitor who fails to abide by this directive without an approved accommodation may be subject to university discipline. 

Practicing Kindness

Avoid stigmatization of the wearing or not wearing of face coverings. Some members of the campus community may have an approved accommodation and are thus not subject to this requirement. We encourage patience, kindness, and compassion for others in our community who may be unable to wear a face covering.

Requesting an Accommodation

Students who believe they should be considered for an exception to this requirement should contact Accessibility Resources at (507) 389-2825, ar@mnsu.edu.

Employees who believe they should be considered for an exception to this requirement should contact Human Resources at (507) 389-2015, hr@mnsu.edu.