May 19, 2022: St. Thomas to Drop Indoor Face Covering Requirement

Dear St. Thomas community,

Next week, the university will end its requirements for indoor face coverings in classrooms, labs and the campus shuttle. The policy goes into effect starting Wednesday, May 25, and applies to all students, faculty, staff and visitors, regardless of vaccination status. In keeping with state and federal regulations, face coverings will continue to be required in the Center for Well-Being in clinical areas. 

Although we have seen higher case counts reported to the university in recent weeks, this decision was made based on multiple factors. For instance, dropping the requirement aligns with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) guidance; Ramsey and Hennepin Counties are currently ranked as having a “medium” COVID-19 community level. Additionally, the university is about to significantly de-densify as we wrap up the spring semester.

Plans for Summer and Fall

As we have throughout the pandemic, we will closely monitor the situation on campus in the coming months and make decisions as needed; those decisions will include whether to reinstate campus face covering requirements if the situation worsens. Based on the total on-campus population, for example, the following conditions may lead to reinstating the requirement:

  • If the number of on-campus cases is 3% or more over a two-week period
  • If the community level for COVID-19 is rated “high” by the CDC in either Ramsey or Hennepin Counties
  • If city leaders require face coverings in city buildings or put other mitigation policies in place

Be Respectful

Anyone who wishes to continue wearing face coverings indoors is encouraged to do so. Everyone in our community is expected to be respectful of others’ decision to wear one. Individuals who have been a close contact of someone who tests positive for COVID-19, or who are recovering from COVID-19, are expected to wear a face covering, isolate or quarantine in accordance with CDC guidance.

Thank you for your continued attention and cooperation.

The University Action & Response Team