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Minneapolis Public Schools to require face masks for staff, students

The rule goes into effect Monday, and will continue at the start of the new school year.

Minneapolis Public Schools has announced it will require face masks in its buildings starting this Monday – and barring any further changes, it will mean students will be required to wear masks when the new academic year starts next month.

Parents were contacted by MPS Thursday informing them of the new policy, which goes into effect Aug. 9 and sees masks required to be worn by all staff, students, and visitors in MPS schools and building regardless of their vaccination status.

"This decision is based on the strong recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Health about masking being a critical way to protect children who cannot yet get vaccinated, along with others who are not vaccinated," the school district says.

Masks are still required on public transportation and school buses.

Parents are told to expect more information about schools' health and safety practices that will be in place when students return in September.

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It's also urging students aged 12 and older to get vaccinated (you can find vaccine locations here).

The Minnesota Departments of Education and Health recommend that face masks be worn at schools by all K-12 students, regardless of vaccination status, as the delta variant continues to grow in Minnesota.

However, with the statewide emergency having been ended by Gov. Tim Walz earlier in the summer, no statewide mandate will go into effect, meaning school districts have the power to make their own decisions regarding mask requirements.

Last month, Rochester Public Schools voted to require masks be worn by students up to the age of 11, who are not eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.

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