People who attend large indoor events on any University of Minnesota campus between Jan. 26 and Feb. 9 will be required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test, U President Joan Gabel announced Friday.
The move comes as the omicron variant sickens record numbers of Minnesotans and follows an announcement by the mayors of Minneapolis and St. Paul that proof of vaccination will be required to enter bars, restaurants and any other businesses that serve food. The university already has a vaccine mandate for all students, faculty and staff.
“We all feel the stress the Omicron surge is creating, particularly on our healthcare system,” Gabel said in a news release. “We are watching U of M trained physicians, nurses, pharmacists and others strain to carry their unceasing workload … We must think of health and safety, but in a context of how many in our University family need our support.”
The U’s policy applies to events with 200 or more attendees on all five campuses, including events hosted by third parties in rented university spaces. Dining halls and classes are not subject to the policy.
People over age 5 who are not university students or employees will have to show proof of vaccination or a negative result from a COVID-19 test taken within the past 72 hours. Students, faculty and staff only need to show their university ID cards.
University officials will reevaluate the policy over the next several weeks and may extend it beyond Feb. 9, Gabel said in a news release.
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