All higher education schools in Duluth have now reinstated their mask requirement, regardless of vaccination status, as College of St. Scholastica President Barbara McDonald announced Wednesday that the school would require everyone to wear masks while indoors starting Thursday.
The Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College in Cloquet also announced that it would require everyone to wear masks inside campus buildings beginning Thursday.
St. Scholastica's rule applies to both its Duluth and St. Cloud campuses, which are both in counties experiencing "substantial" levels of community transmission as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Both the University of Minnesota Duluth and Lake Superior College reinstated their mask requirements this week. The returning mask rules following a recommendation from St. Louis County public health that everyone wear a mask when in indoor public places throughout the county.
"Thank you for the many ways in which you live out our values and keep our beloved Saints community safe," McDonald wrote in an announcement to the St. Scholastica community. "Although returning to masking protocols is not something we wanted, we are grateful for your cooperation in caring for one another and upholding our community pledge."
Disposable masks are available in on St. Scholastica's Duluth campus in the admissions, "One Stop" and athletics offices, as well as in the Health Science Center administration office.
FDLTCC President Stephanie Hammitt said in a statement that by reinstating masks, the college hopes to limit potential spread and stay in front of the COVID-19 case curve.
“(A)s fall semester 2021 is quickly approaching, we are again faced with an increasing number of cases in Carlton and surrounding counties and must take the additional step of mandating the wearing of masks," Hammitt said.
This story was updated at 5:51 p.m. Aug. 4 with additional information from FDLTCC. It was originally posted at 5:11 p.m. Aug. 4.