ST PAUL, Minn. — As the highly contagious COVID-19 delta variant continues to spread, additional precautions are being taken by some stores, schools and health systems across the state.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidance for masks, recommending that all people wear face coverings while indoors in areas with "substantial transmission," which, according to CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, means there's been 50-100 cases per 100,000 over a 7-day period. "High transmission" means an area has seen more than 100 cases per 100,000 over a 7-day period.
A color-coded map from the CDC shows counties across the United States, now including 70 in Minnesota, that are considered to be at a high or substantial risk for transmitting the virus. It's in those counties where the new indoor mask guidelines are recommended.
According to Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm, the delta variant continues to fuel new COVID cases in Minnesota, with an estimated 85% of local new cases being caused by the variant.
Here is a list of schools, businesses and more that are updating their mask and vaccine requirement policies.
Health care and hospital systems
Allina Health: Employees will need to have at least one dose of the COVID vaccine by Oct. 1 and receive a flu vaccine by Jan. 1, 2022
M Health Fairview: All employees and providers are required to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and the flu by Oct. 31
Children's Minnesota: All employees, professional staff, volunteers and contractors are required to get vaccinated. The requirement will go into effect no sooner than Sept. 7, 2021. Masks continue to be required for everyone 5 years of age and older.
Essentia Health: All employees will be required to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of their employment. Employees must receive their first dose of vaccine by Oct. 1 and their second dose in a two-dose series by Nov. 1.
HealthPartners: All employees will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and influenza. Employees will have until Oct. 30 for COVID-19 and Nov. 30 for influenza to become fully vaccinated or to document their declination. Volunteers, vendors, students and other non-employees will also be required to be vaccinated.
Hennepin Healthcare System: All team members must receive their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by Oct. 1 and their second dose in a two-dose series by Nov. 1.
Colleges and universities
University of Minnesota: All students, staff, faculty, contractors and visitors, regardless of vaccination status, will need to wear facial coverings while indoors at all campuses, offices and facilities across the state. When the COVID-19 vaccine receives full FDA approval, vaccinations will be required for U of M students. Staff and faculty will have to be vaccinated or regularly tested for the virus.
University of St. Thomas: Students, faculty and staff need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before returning to school this fall.
Minnesota State colleges and universities: Proof of vaccination will not be required for all students, but will be required for certain groups, including students living in college or university-owned housing, and those participating in intercollegiate athletics.
University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire: Masks are will be required indoors regardless of vaccination status, starting Aug. 30 through at least Sept. 30, when the university will review.
Basilica Block Party: Organizers announced that proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test will be required for entry into the event, running Sept. 10-11.
First Avenue: All concerts and events will require either proof of full vaccination or proof of a negative COVID test taken within 72 hours, applies to events at First Avenue, 7th St Entry, Turf Club, Fine Line, The Fitzgerald Theater and the Palace Theatre.
Paisley Park: Starting Aug. 28, visitors for non-tour related events will be required to provide proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours. Staff and vendors are required to wear a mask indoors, and tour guests are strongly encouraged to wear a mask.
Target Center: Masks are required regardless of vaccination status for individuals over age two and able to medically tolerate a face covering.
Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board: Face coverings will be required inside all MRPB buildings regardless of vaccination status.
Minnesota Children's Museum will require all visitors, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, wear masks starting Saturday, Aug. 7. This will apply to anyone 5 and older. Museum officials are also strongly encouraging kids ages 2 to 4 wear masks.
Minnesota Zoo: Beginning August 7, all guests three years of age and older will be required to wear a face covering when visiting indoor exhibits, regardless of vaccination status. Masks are optional when outdoors.
Cub Foods: Employees are required to wear a face coverings while at work, masks are recommended but not required for shoppers
Target: Employees in areas where the CDC considers COVID-19 transmission levels to be high or substantial will be required to wear masks, masks are recommended for shoppers
Home Depot: All associates, contractors and vendors will be required to wear a mask inside all locations, regardless of their vaccination status, customers are asked to wear masks and employees will offer face coverings to people who don't have them.
Minneapolis and St. Paul: In a joint release, the two cities' mayors said city staff are required to wear masks indoors while they're in the cities. Masks are also required in city-owned buildings. Other than that, the mayors said masks are "encouraged" indoors. They asked businesses to adopt their own mask requirements.
Hennepin County: Masks will be required in county buildings starting Aug. 4, regardless of vaccination status.
Dakota County: The board of commissioners passed a resolution requiring visitors to wear a mask in all county buildings starting Aug. 11, regardless of vaccination status.
City of Brooklyn Center: Masks are now required for staff and patrons inside all city facilities. Exceptions include kids under 2 years old and people who can't wear a mask for medical reasons.
City of Brooklyn Park: A face covering requirement starts Aug. 6 for city employees, and on Aug. 10 for the general public in city facilities.
City of Duluth: Masks will be required in all city facilities starting Aug. 4.