(FOX 9) – Major employers and educational institutions in Minnesota are imposing mask mandates and vaccine requirements on workers to slow a wave of COVID-19 across the country.
The University of Minnesota will require everyone to wear masks in interior spaces on campus starting Tuesday. Cub and Target tell workers to put the masks back on. Allina Health and M Health Fairview announced that employees should be vaccinated by October, and the University of St. Thomas said students and staff should all be vaccinated by fall.
For the first time in several weeks, Minnesota reported an increase in vaccinations last week as 30,560 people received their first dose. That’s an increase of almost 50% from the previous two weeks, when the average was around 21,100 people per week.
“We are thankful that people are taking another look and taking action to get vaccinated,” Minnesota Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said.
Minnesota cases are increasing more modestly than states with worse vaccination rates, although 44 counties – including the entire Twin Cities metro – fall into risk categories where the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends masks whatever. regardless of the vaccination status.
Malcolm said Minnesota officials are not considering a new statewide mask mandate to slow the spread of the highly contagious delta variant. Gov. Tim Walz would have to call another peacetime emergency, which he was reluctant to do.
The United States has averaged 72,000 cases per day over the past seven-day period, worse than the summer 2020 outbreak, straining hospitals in several states. The spike led hard-hit Louisiana to impose a new mask mandate on Monday.
Instead, Minnesota health officials are begging unvaccinated people to get vaccinated. Minnesota was one of the first states to offer $ 100 Visa gift cards to people who get vaccinated before August 15.
As of Thursday, 67.2% of eligible people had received at least one dose, or nearly 3.2 million people. Minnesota health officials said they know of 4,477 breakthrough cases, where a person vaccinated is positive for the virus – 0.14% of those vaccinated.
The US Department of Veterans Affairs last week announced a vaccination mandate for clinical staff at hospitals in Virginia. The Biden administration is examining how and when it can force COVID-19 vaccines on members of the military.
The administration will require unvaccinated federal workers to wear masks and face other limitations when returning to office, White House adviser Jeff Zients said.
When asked about private sector immunization mandates, Zients told reporters, “I think you’ll see a continued increase in immunization requirements as people bring employees back to work. ”