When Minnesota Governor Tim Walz announced last week that the state face covering requirement would be lifted, it was made clear that some businesses, industries and programs would continue to set their own mask policies. Essentia Health announced it will continue to enforce its mask policy.

Essentia Health says that universal masking for patients, visitors and staff will remain a requirement in all of their facilities across Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota.

They add that while they respect the decision to loosen the mask mandates, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s most recent guidelines "do not cover health care settings like hospitals, clinics and long-term-care facilities." In fact, the CDC recommends visitors to health care settings continue wearing a well-fitted face covering, regardless of an individual’s vaccination status.

COVID-19 remains prevalent in the communities we serve and wearing a mask has been proven to reduce transmission of the virus. This is especially important among the vulnerable populations often found in health care facilities, including those with compromised immune systems.

Get our free mobile app

As they have all along, Essentia Health encourages everyone to get vaccinated. They are currently offering vaccinations for anyone aged 12 and older for both patients and non-patients.

Vaccination appointments can be made through Essentia’s MyChart patient portal or by calling (833) 494-0836. Keep in mind that in order to be eligible for the vaccination, anyone under the age of 18 will need to bring a consent form that is signed by their parent or guardian. Full Essentia vaccination information can be found above.

15 Things We Started Doing During The Pandemic That We Will Keep Doing After

LOOK: 50 photos of American life in 2020