Minnesota's mask requirement for students

  • What age does the mask requirement apply to?

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    Masks are required in schools for all staff and all students beginning in kindergarten. Students in preschool or early childhood programs are not required to wear masks. Children under age 2 should never wear masks.

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  • What types of masks are acceptable?

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    The following types of face coverings are allowed

    • Paper or disposable mask
    • Cloth mask
    • Scarf
    • Bandana
    • Religious face covering

    All masks must cover the nose and mouth completely, not be overly tight and should feel comfortable to wear.

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  • Are clear plastic face shields acceptable?

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    A face shield (a clear plastic barrier that covers the face) may be used as an alternative to a face covering in the following situations:  

    • Among students in Kindergarten through grade 8, when wearing a face covering is problematic.  
    • By teachers (all grades), when wearing a face covering may impede the educational process.  
    • For staff, students, or visitors who cannot tolerate a face covering due to a developmental, medical, or behavioral health condition.  
    • For staff providing direct support student services, when a face covering impedes the service being provided. 

    For optimal protection, the face shield should extend below the chin anteriorly, to the ears laterally, and there should be no exposed gap between the forehead and the shield’s headpiece.

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  • Are there exceptions to the mask requirement?

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    Those who meet the following criteria should not wear masks:

    • Students who are unable to remove their own face covering without assistance
    • Students who cannot tolerate a face covering due to a developmental, medical, or behavioral health condition.
    • Children under the age of two should never wear a mask
    • Anyone who is having trouble breathing or is unconscious 
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  • Does the mask requirement apply to school buses?

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    Yes, masks will be required on school buses under the same guidelines that apply to school buildings.

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  • Are there times when students can remove their face covering?

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    • Face coverings may be temporarily removed when engaging in indoor physical activity (e.g., during recess, after school sports, or when exercising in a gym) where the level of exertion makes wearing a face covering difficult, and during classes or activities held outdoors. People participating in these activities should maintain 6 feet of distance while doing so to the extent feasible.  
    • Face coverings may be temporarily removed to eat or drink, but care should be taken to maintain as much space as possible between people, recognizing it is not always feasible to maintain 6 feet of distance from others.  
    • During indoor practices or performances involving singing, acting, public speaking, or playing musical instruments where a face covering cannot be used while playing the instrument. Performers should maintain 6 feet or greater of physical distance from others while participating in the activity to the extent possible, and should replace their face covering as soon as the activity is completed. 
    • People who are entering the school building during the day may be required by school staff to briefly remove their face covering for the purposes of checking identification.
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