August 5, 2021
Updated guidance for face coverings and vaccination opportunities
Dear students, faculty and staff,
Last week, the CDC updated their guidance on masking with the recommendation for “fully vaccinated people to wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission.” Based on recent CDC data, both St. Louis and Sherburn Counties have “substantial” levels of community transmission.
Given this evolving guidance and the rise in cases, we are reinstituting the requirement that all students, employees and visitors to our Duluth and St. Cloud campuses wear face coverings while indoors, regardless of vaccination status, effective tomorrow, Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021. Students and employees at our embedded site locations in Austin, Brainerd, Cloquet, Grand Rapids and Inver Grove Heights are asked to follow the guidance outlined by the Minnesota State system. Disposable masks will be available in the following areas: Duluth Campus Admissions, OneStop and Athletics offices; as well as in the Health Science Center administration office.
While there is much we are still learning about COVID-19 and the highly transmissible Delta variant, we do know that wearing a mask/face covering helps prevent spread, offering protection for yourself and those around you.
We also know that vaccines are safe, effective and free. As we continue to plan and pivot for our upcoming academic year, receiving a COVID-19 vaccine is the surest way each and every one of us can do our part to create a safe, uninterrupted learning and working community.
Beginning next week, we will be partnering with St. Louis County Public Health to offer on-campus Pfizer and Johnson/Johnson vaccination opportunities for our Duluth-area Saints. The first vaccination clinic will be held Wednesday, Aug. 11 from 10 a.m.-12:45 p.m. in Burns Wellness Commons 243. No insurance card is required; you can pre-register here but walk-ins are also welcome. Stay tuned for announcements about additional future on-campus vaccination opportunities.
For those outside of the Duluth area, please continue to access the Vaccination Locator for your nearest vaccination site.
Thank you for the many ways in which you live out our values and keep our beloved Saints community safe. Although returning to masking protocols is not something we wanted, we are grateful for your cooperation in caring for one another and upholding our Community Pledge. I understand this announcement is coming to you at the end of the day, so let’s continue to practice patience and support one another as we transition back to these protocols.