Face Coverings Required On Campus

Central Lakes College will require face coverings in compliance with the Governor ‘s recent executive order.

As of July 25, 2020, per the Governor’s Executive Order 20-81, people in Minnesota are required to wear a face covering in all public indoor spaces and indoor businesses, unless you are alone. Additionally, workers are required to wear a face covering when working outdoors in situations where social distancing cannot be maintained. Research has shown that use of face coverings can greatly reduce the risk of infection when combined with other prevention efforts such as social distancing and hand hygiene.

Two college students learning while keeping social distance on cHow do face coverings slow the spread of COVID-19?
The virus which causes COVID-19 is thought to be mostly spread by respiratory droplets released when people talk, cough or sneeze. Many people with COVID-19 do not show any symptoms but can still spread the virus to others, especially those who have had prolonged close contact with another person. Additionally, people can be contagious before they show symptoms of COVID-19. Wearing a face covering will help to protect the people around you if you are infected and do not know it. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) recommend that people should wear a face covering in public to limit the spread of respiratory droplets, especially in situations where social distancing is hard to maintain. Face coverings along with other measures like good hand hygiene and social distancing work together to slow the spread.

How to wear a face covering?
A face covering can include a paper or disposable mask, cloth mask, neck gaiter, scarf, bandanna, or a religious face covering. A face covering must cover the mouth and nose completely. The covering should not be overly tight or restrictive and should feel comfortable to wear.

Any masks that incorporate a valve that is designed to facilitate easy exhaling, mesh masks, or masks with openings, holes, visible gaps in the design or material, or vents are not sufficient face coverings because they allow droplets to be released from the mask.

Why is there a state mandate?
Minnesota has strongly recommended widespread use of face coverings since April. As shown in other states, COVID-19 surges can happen quickly—even in areas with previously low or decreasing case numbers—and with disastrous consequences. Because Minnesota has begun the process of reopening its economy and people are now leaving the home more frequently, smart, simple infection-control measures, like wearing a face covering, are particularly important to prevent further COVID-19 spread. Previously, Minnesota and other states encouraged voluntary compliance with face covering recommendations, but compliance with such recommendations has been inconsistent and face covering requirements have been shown to increase consistent face covering use.(6) Other states are having success controlling the spread of COVID-19 by mandating face coverings in certain settings in accordance with CDC and WHO recommendations.

How long will the Executive Order be in effect?
This Executive Order is effective immediately upon approval by the Executive Council, with the requirement to wear face coverings starting July 25. It remains in effect until the peacetime emergency declared in Executive Order 20-01 ends or until cancelled by a proper authority (Minnesota Statutes 2019, section 4.035, subdivision 2, and section 12.32).

What’s the penalty for not wearing a face covering?
The goal of the Executive Order is to advise Minnesotans that wearing a face covering will protect them, their families, their friends, and others, and the expectation is that Minnesotans will voluntarily comply with the Order’s requirements. Enforcement is not the goal of this Executive Order, but because these requirements are so important for the safety of our communities, Minnesotans who fail to comply with the Executive Order may receive a petty misdemeanor citation and a fine of up to $100.

Businesses have heightened responsibility for public safety, given the volume of people that pass through Minnesota businesses on any given day. As such, businesses (and their owners and management) may be subject to criminal charges (up to a misdemeanor, $1,000 fine, and not more than 90 days in jail), civil enforcement and fines (of up to $25,000), and regulatory enforcement (e.g., actions by government authorities that license or regulate the business).

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