COVID-19 information for families: English - Español - Hmoob - Karen - Soomaali
On July 30, Governor Tim Walz signed Executive Order 20-82 to implement Minnesota's Safe Learning Plan for the 2020-21 School Year. This plan uses a localized, data-driven approach that allows school districts and charter schools to operate in a learning model that is responsive the prevalence of COVID-19 cases in their community. The plan prioritizes safe learning for all Minnesota students, including requiring school districts and charter schools to give families the option to choose distance learning for their student no matter which learning model their school is implementing.
The Safe Learning Plan—including Executive Orders 20-19, 20-82, 20-94 and 20-95—will be in full effect through the end of the 2020-21 school year. This means schools will continue following the Safe Learning Plan until whenever the last teacher contact day is for each individual school district or charter school. For year-round schools only, the Safe Learning Plan—including Executive Orders 20-19, 20-82, 20-94 and 20-95—is in effect until June 13, 2021 at 11:59 p.m.
On May 13, 2021, Governor Walz announced an end to Minnesota's statewide mask requirement. However, the CDC has not yet provided clear guidance for school settings, but has stated that they expect to update guidance for children in school and summer camps soon. Additionally, our youngest Minnesotans remain ineligible for vaccines and eligibility for 12- to 15-year-olds was just announced this week. As a result, Minnesota’s Safe Learning Plan, along with the existing face covering guidance for schools and child care settings, remain in effect. Through the end of the 2020-21 school year (last teacher contact day), masks must continue to be worn by everyone inside school buildings or on a school bus.
School districts and charter schools must adhere to the health requirements and recommendations in the 2020-2021 Planning Guide for Schools, issued by MDH, and should consult the 2020-21 Planning Guidance for Minnesota Public Schools.
Summer 2021 Programming
The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has released the COVID-19 Prevention Guidance for Summer School: Executive Summary, along with detailed guidance in the COVID-19 Prevention Guidance for Summer School. This guidance provides health recommendations to pre-K through grade 12 schools that have completed the 2020-21 learning year as well as only a limited number of requirements from the federal government, existing Minnesota Rules, and Stay Safe Minnesota Universal Business Guidance:
- Face coverings: All people are required by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) order to wear face coverings on all public transportation conveyances (airports, public buses, etc.), including school buses.
- Handling a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19: Minnesota Rule 4605.7070 requires any person in charge of any institution, school, child care facility, or camp to cases of COVID-19 to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH).
- Executive Order 21-11, as amended by Executive Order 21-21 and 21-23 (“EO”), requires all businesses and entities to follow the COVID-19 Universal Guidance for All Businesses and Entities through June 30, 2021 or until 70% of Minnesotans aged 16+ receive at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, whichever is earlier.
This guidance will be updated if national and state recommendations evolve over the coming months.
Middle and high schools will continue to be able to offer COVID-19 testing for students through the state program throughout the summer.
COVID-19 Vaccines for Minnesotans Ages 12 and OlderAll Minnesotans age 12 and older are eligible to receive a free COVID-19 vaccine.
The Minnesota COVID-19 Vaccine Connector is a tool that helps Minnesotans find out when, where and how to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Through the Vaccine Connector, you can be among the first to hear about new vaccine opportunities in your area and you can directly sign up for an appointment at one of Minnesota's Community Vaccination Program sites.
If you have questions about the form or need language assistance, please call the Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 Public Hotline at 1-833-431-2053.
COVID-19 Saliva Testing for Minnesota School Staff and Students
As of January 4, 2021, all public schools providing in-person or hybrid learning must offer on-site testing to all staff that interact with students. This includes teachers, paraprofessionals, administrators, support staff, nutrition staff, bus drivers and more. The state of Minnesota will provide training and saliva test kits so that schools can conduct this testing. Training and supplies will be available to nonpublic and tribal schools operating in-person or hybrid learning who wish to test their staff, as well. A questions and answers document is available on this topic.
In response to a rise in COVID-19 cases, especially among younger Minnesotans, all middle and high school students are encouraged to get tested for COVID-19 weekly. Beginning April 26, 2021, all Minnesota middle and high schools are strongly encouraged to offer COVID-19 testing options for students. Learn more about COVID-19 testing for middle and high school students.
Safe Learning Model Data
Minnesotans can now view data on learning model implementation throughout the state using two tools. Learn more and view the data on the Safe Learning Model Data page.
Check this page often to track school-related updates on the COVID-19 response. You can sign up to receive email notifications when this page is updated. We have also added sub-pages to help organize the COVID-19 information. Find up-to-date program guidance on these topics in the left navigation, or use the links provided below:
- CARES Act Funding Information
- Food and Nutrition Services
- Health Resources for Schools
- Public Engagement
- Safe Learning Model Data
- Special Education
- Student Instruction
- Supporting Students and Families
- Webinars for Educators
COVID-19 Public Health Information
The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and is coordinating with other state and local agencies to share information and updates. MDH has a web page dedicated to information related to schools. This is an evolving situation, so check back to the MDH Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) website often for the latest information. For assistance with health-related questions about the coronavirus outbreak, email the Minnesota Department of Health.
Guidance for Districts and Schools
Safe Learning Plan for the 2020-21 School Year - 5/20/21
2020-21 Planning Guidance for Minnesota Public Schools - 5/20/21
School-Age Care Guidance and Frequently Asked Questions for the 2020-21 School Year - 1/12/21
Early Care and Education Guidance and Frequently Asked Questions for the 2020-21 School Year - 9/2/20