Mask update

Posted on: Jul 22, 2020

Today Gov. Tim Walz announced that masks must be worn in stores and all indoor public places beginning on Saturday, July 25. Please see the message below from the Minnesota Department of Education on what this means in the school setting, and check out the FAQ page on the Minnesota Department of Health's website.

department of education

July 22, 2020

Dear School Leaders,

Today, Governor Tim Walz is announcing Executive Order 20-81 which will require Minnesotans to wear a face covering in all public indoor spaces and indoor businesses starting on July 25, 2020. This Executive Order applies to all Minnesotans, making exemptions for children who are five-years-old and under, and those with a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that makes it unreasonable for the individual to maintain a face covering.

Included in those settings where masks will be required, are school buildings, both public and nonpublic. Face coverings are generally required for all students, staff, and other persons present in any kindergarten through grade 12 school buildings or district offices or riding on school transportation vehicles. To provide a consistent, safe environment for students and staff, this requirement applies equally to kindergartners, even those aged 5 or under.

Students and staff have flexibility to wear face shields instead of face coverings, which allows visibility of facial expressions and lip movements for speech perception, in certain situations. These situations include:

  • Among students in kindergarten through grade 8 when wearing a face covering is problematic.
  • For educators of all grades, when wearing a face covering may impede the educational process

Additional specifics about the face covering requirement in the order can be found in the updated MDH Fall Planning Guidance document, and the full executive order will be made available on Governor Walz’s executive orders webpage.


Mary Cathryn Ricker, NBCT Commissioner of Education