From September 1, masks are mandatory for everyone on campus – News and Events
Mitchell Hamline institutes a mask requirement for everyone on campus effective September 1, 2021.
Below is a message from Dean Anthony Niedwiecki and the management team announcing the change.
August 30, 2021
Dear teachers and staff –
Thank you for all you have done this fall to help us get back to campus safely. On our most important measure – the COVID-19 cases on campus – we are succeeding (knock on wood.) We had no reported cases on campus this fall.
But there are troubling signs we want to respond to before they start to affect the health of our community. Ramsey County now has high levels of community transmission, as tracked by the CDC. Community transmission has increased dramatically nationwide over the past 4-6 weeks as communities grapple with the highly contagious and dangerous delta variant. The severity of this trend is also evidenced by an increase in hospitalizations and a corresponding decrease in beds available for COVID-19 patients. While we hoped that a “strong recommendation” for mask wear that we put out in our fall campus plan would be sufficient, with the level of spread in Ramsey County, we believe it is important. to review these guidelines.
We said in this fall plan that we would reinstate a mask requirement if conditions warranted. For the above reasons, with the support of our COVID-19 committee and following the recommendation of our medical consultant and advice from the CDC, we are implementing a mask requirement effective Wednesday, September 1, as follows :
- Everyone must wear a mask at all times in the building, except in individual offices with a door (preferably closed).
Note: Teachers may remove their masks during class, if necessary, provided they take all reasonable steps to stay physically away from students. Professors who co-teach should both be masked.
- All visitors to the building must wear a mask.
- Masks can be removed when eating and drinking. When eating and drinking near others, it is best to be outdoors or in large, open spaces to allow sufficient air circulation. If this is not possible, please maintain as much distance as possible.
Additional information on the masks is provided by the Minnesota Department of Health and the CDC. Information on Mitchell Hamline’s COVID-19 compliance policy can be found in the student catalog.
Although the vaccination rate in Ramsey County for ages 12 and over is nearly 70% and the law school requires all faculty, staff and students on campus to be vaccinated, we must continue to use all available tools to limit the impact of this virus. We hope that the addition of a mask requirement will further reduce the threat of transmission within our university community during this very difficult time. If we can manage to keep our case count very low and the Ramsey County data moves in a positive direction, we expect to be able to adjust this requirement based on the size of the room and the number of people in a room. room.
It is likely that some of the trends we have cited above will soon push us from level 1 (“low”) to level 2 (“medium”) on our campus alert scale. This will result in additional restrictions which we will highlight at this time. But before that, we are implementing the mask requirement in order to continue all level 1 activities for as long as possible and reduce the possibilities of any case on campus.
Thank you for your continued commitment to keeping this community safe, and don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.
President and Dean
on behalf of the management team: