Minnesota officials updated guidance for the state’s E-12 schools to prepare for athletics and in-person learning to resume in January.

Face Masks

The Minnesota Department of Education updated the state’s Safe Learning plan with softer language on the use of face shield. It is now strongly recommended that school districts and charter schools require staff to wear face masks and face shields together whenever possible during the school day. It was previously required.

Also, when staff are performing duties in which a face mask and a face shield worn together creates a safety concern (e.g. visual impairment while operating a vehicle, working in a kitchen, lab etc.), staff may choose to only wear the required face mask.   

Learn more on Page 11 of the Safe Learning Plan or view the state web page.


School pools can open Jan. 4 for lap swimming, lessons, and organized youth and adult sports, based on the latest executive order from Gov. Tim Walz. View the executive order.

The Minnesota Department of Health on Monday also announced an update to Executive order 20-103:

  • Athletic practices can start on Jan. 4.
  • Games and scrimmages may start on or after Jan. 14.
  • Athletes cannot exceed pods of more than 25 when practicing either inside or outside.
  • There will be no spectators for practices.  
  • All persons must wear face masks during practice and games at all times. There are a few exemptions, including wrestling, swimming, diving, gymnastics and cheerleading in certain circumstances.

Learn more in the COVID-19 Sports Practice Guidance for Youth and Adults.