U of M to lift vaccine-or-test requirement for indoor events this week
University of Minnesota officials have announced they won’t extend the vaccine-or-test mandate past Wednesday.
The policy—which required either proof of vaccination or proof of a negative COVID-19 test—was put in place from Jan. 26 through Feb. 9 at campus and athletic events with more than 200 people in attendance.
According to university officials, the policy will no longer be implemented starting Thursday.
University of Minnesota President Joan Gabel announced the end of the temporary policy, stating, “Trends in COVID-19 transmission statewide continue to show significant decreases, both in terms of current data related to case numbers, positivity rates, and available hospital beds, but also in forecasts predicting continued declines. Given those trends, the University is lifting the temporary, systemwide policy that mandated all events with over 200 attendees require individuals to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test.”
University officials stated the existing face covering requirement remains in place, adding that visitors attending indoor Gopher Athletics events on campus are required to wear a well-fitted face covering.
Last month, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter announced a temporary policy for establishments serving indoor food or beverages, which would require customers to either show proof of vaccination or proof of a negative test.
After that announcement, venues throughout the Twin Cities—including those on the University of Minnesota campus—began enforcing the policy.
When asked whether the current policy requirement in the city of Minneapolis would affect whether the university would be required to extend the vaccine-or-test policy, Paul Rovnak, director of communications for Gopher Athletics, said, “The University of Minnesota is able to make its own policies and implement them as it chooses. It is not required to follow city policy.”
5 EYEWITNESS NEWS has reached out to Minneapolis and St. Paul representatives for additional details on the current status of the vaccine-or-test requirement policy.
“With a promising downward trend of case counts in Ramsey County, we look forward to discontinuing the requirement as soon as possible,” St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter said in a statement provided to 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS Tuesday.
Stay with 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS and KSTP.com for updates.