Update on Face Covering Requirement, March 7, 2022

Greetings, Mavericks.

I hope all of you are enjoying a bit of a break this week.

I am writing today to give you an update on the masking requirement that has been in place since August 2021. Although I had intended to wait until after Spring Break to communicate again, the situation has changed substantially enough to warrant this message.

Our campus and state positivity rates numbers continue to decline, including in Blue Earth County. Given the low transmission levels for Blue Earth County that have persisted since late last week and the guidance from the Minnesota State system office, masks are no longer required in indoor public spaces on the Mankato campus and our Edina location effective immediately, starting today, Monday, March 7. Mankato classes offered at partner institutions will follow the local guidance.

Regardless of county-level data, individuals may choose to continue wearing masks, and we should respect and support those choices (except in circumstances where masks present a safety risk, such as certain lab contexts). In addition, the updated CDC guidance recommends that individuals who are immunocompromised or at a high risk for severe disease should talk to their healthcare provider about whether masks or other precautions are warranted. People with symptoms, a positive test, or exposure to someone with COVID-19 should wear a mask.

We will continue to monitor these COVID-19 levels and do what’s right for our community. Our best defense against COVID-19 is to be vaccinated and boosted. All Minnesota State Mankato students and employees are encouraged to consider these tools to keep themselves and others safe.

I appreciate your continued patience and persistence.

Thank you and go Mavericks!

Edward S. Inch, Ph.D.