Duluth Police Chief Mike Tusken has temporarily suspended the departments facial hair policy in the wake of the  Covid-19 pandemic. No facial hair will be allowed so officers can wear a N95 face mask if needed during the outbreak.

Having smooth skin helps the masks seal properly to the face and keeps the virus particles from getting under the mask and into the respiratory system. Chief Tusken said to FOX21 “We knew that should we get to a position where we would have to wear masks, this would preclude a tight seal. Therefore, if this day ever came, and it did, that we would be requesting people to shave off their beards and facial hair so they have a clean seal with a mask.

The Duluth Police Department had a clean shaven policy in place until 2018 when a group of officers proposed a beard policy change which Tusken accepted. This policy overturned a 120 year old policy that only allowed officers to have a mustache or be clean shaven.

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