Lake Superior College in Duluth will once again require people to wear masks while indoors on campus beginning Wednesday as spread of the more contagious and dangerous delta variant heightens concern.
LSC President Patricia Rogers announced the renewal of the mandate in a message sent to the campus community Tuesday, the day after St. Louis County public health officials recommended masks be worn in all indoor public settings.
"It is our sincere hope that this will be a temporary and short-lived requirement that will help us all, collectively as a community and beyond, reverse the current surge in cases and eventually return to more normal circumstances as soon as possible," Rogers wrote.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends everyone, regardless of their COVID-19 vaccine status, wear masks indoors while in public when in areas with "substantial" to "high" transmission of the virus. St. Louis County is experiencing substantial transmission, defined by the CDC as 50 or more cases per week per 100,000 residents.
Rogers added that the quick decision to reinstall the masking rule isn't a sign of other major changes to come as long as people comply with protocol. All courses scheduled to be held in person are expected to remain that way.
The University of Minnesota reinstated its mask requirement across the system Tuesday after U of M President Joan Gabel made the announcement to all campuses Monday.
"This is a long journey but I’m grateful for this community as we take these important next steps together," Gabel wrote.
The city of Duluth also announced Tuesday that it would pivot back to requiring masks in all of its buildings, including the libraries and City Hall, starting Wednesday. The fire stations are the only city buildings that have closed to the public again.