Skip to main content

Minneapolis Public Schools ends mask mandate, loosen COVID-19 guidelines

The district joins St. Paul Public Schools, which recently voted to drop its mask mandate.

Minneapolis Public Schools is loosening its COVID-19 guidelines, including dropping its mask mandate for students and staff starting Monday.

MPS rolled out the new policies in a Thursday announcement, adding "staff/students can choose to wear a mask based on personal preference or level of risk."

Along with eliminating the mask mandate in schools, other buildings and transportation, MPS will discontinue contact tracing. This means students and their families won’t necessarily receive notice if someone in their class or team tests positive for COVID-19.

"MPS remains committed to maximizing in-person learning, meeting the academic and mental health needs of our students, and providing a safe learning environment for all," MPS Superintendent Ed Graff said in a statement.

Quarantine policies for students and staff have also changed. Fully vaccinated students and staff will not be required to quarantine following an exposure to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Meanwhile, the isolation period for unvaccinated students and staff after an exposure has been cut from 10 days to five days. Masks will be required for these individuals until tens days after the exposure.

Sign up: Subscribe to our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

The quarantine period for students and staff who have tested positive remains at 10 days.

The announcement comes as St. Paul Public Schools also opted to lift its mask mandate on Tuesday. But unlike MPS, St. Paul’s school board decided on the matter with a 6-1 vote.

The new policy also takes effect Monday.

While COVID-19 cases in Minnesota are low currently, there have been rising cases on the East Coast in recent weeks, driven by the BA.2 strain of the Omicron variant.

Wastewater data has shown that the BA.2 strain is dominant in Minnesota now, and while cases have been rising gradually, there has not been a major spike here as of yet.

The decision by Graff, who announced plans to step down from the position late last month, garnered criticism online.

One teacher on Twitter pointed to a tentative agreement between the district and the Minneapolis Teachers Federation. The agreement, which marked the end of a weeks-long strike, includes language stressing the importance of continued COVID-19 mitigation.

“... as we are entering another school year of COVID 19 affecting our teaching and learning conditions, we have experience with mitigation strategies, and have a responsibility to build upon and improve the protections and mitigation strategies as well as to be responsive to changing guidelines we employ within our learning spaces…,” the agreement reads. 

Next Up

Pixabay - jet skis resting

Jet skier injured in explosion on Minnesota lake

The explosion happened on Little Lake 14 in St. Louis County.

Krisit Noem

Kristi Noem's response to 10-year-old Ohio girl pregnant after being raped

Abortion is illegal in South Dakota unless the mother's life is in danger.

police lights

Sheriff: Deputy shoots gun-wielding man in western Wisconsin

One deputy fired on the man, striking him in an unknown area of his body.

Screen Shot 2022-07-03 at 7.28.32 AM

Man found dead in 26 inches of water in Le Sueur County

The 45-year-old was found in near the shoreline on Lake Washington.

police lights

Man arrested after abduction attempt in Bemidji

The incident occurred in Cameron Park on June 25.

betty danger's

Betty Danger's in NE Minneapolis for sale for $4.2 million

The asking price includes the restaurant's ferris wheel, as well as a nearby single-family home.


Minnesota health officials warn monkeypox cases could grow rapidly

The state has so far confirmed only six cases of monkeypox virus.


Bodies of woman, three young children recovered from Vadnais Lake

Authorities say the bodies recovered were those of two boys, one girl and their mother.

Pixabay laptop keyboard phone dark

Charges: Duluth man had hundreds of child porn images, videos

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children found nearly 330 images on the man's electronic devices.

hennepin county sheriff water patrol lake minnetonka

Scuba diver found dead in Lake Minnetonka identified as 20-year-old

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office said 20-year-old Brady Alan Aune, from Elko New Market, died of freshwater drowning on June 3.

Screen Shot 2022-06-30 at 11.18.35 AM

Felony charges filed after authorities search 'Peacebunny Cottage'

The president of the rabbit rescue non-profit faces multiple animal cruelty charges after over 40 rabbits were found dead inside the organization's barn.


classroom mask

Anoka-Hennepin, Moorhead schools enact mask mandates

Previously, the districts were only recommending masks for unvaccinated students and staff.

Flickr - child teenager school mask covid - Jill Carlson

Minnesota school district sued by parents who oppose mask mandate

The school district has asked for the lawsuit to be dismissed.

classroom mask

Parents object to Minneapolis Schools' 14-day COVID exposure quarantines

Other Twin Cities school districts do not have quarantine protocols quite as strict as in Minneapolis.

masks, schools

List of Twin Cities school districts with, without, and undecided on mask mandate

19 metro-area districts will require masks; 11 won't require masks; 16 are undecided.

Jacob Frey

Minneapolis ends its indoor face mask mandate

The city had kept the rule initially, despite Gov. Tim Walz dropping it statewide.


COVID-19: Costco tightens mask mandate for customers

Everyone older than 2 will now need a face mask or shield to enter Costco.

Pexels - face mask covid holding

COVID: Minnetonka to consider citywide mask mandate

If approved, it would join Minneapolis and St. Paul in requiring masks.