CLC to lift face covering requirement

The move is in accordance with updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

CLC Central Lakes College banner with the sky in the background
Central Lakes College banner.
Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch

BRAINERD — Face coverings will no longer be required on Central Lakes College campuses as of Friday, March 4.

The move follows recently updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with new metrics used to inform mitigation recommendations, including masks. The levels are based on a mix of case rates, total new COVID-19 hospital admissions over seven days, and the seven-day average of percent of staffed inpatient beds occupied. This has allowed the Minnesota Department of Health and Minnesota State System to make changes in its pandemic mitigation strategies.

“Although the masking requirement is being lifted, it’s important to remember that employees, students and community members may choose to continue wearing face coverings," CLC President Hara Charlier said in a news release. "Masks will no longer be required, but they are certainly welcome.”

In addition, the updated CDC guidance recommends individuals who are immunocompromised or at a high risk for severe disease talk to their health care provider about whether masks or other precautions are warranted.

The CDC has not updated its masking guidance for health care and clinical settings. As a result, campus clinical settings, such as student health centers and dental clinics, will remain subject to indoor masking requirements.


The college will continue other precautions for the time being, such as limiting group events with 50% capacity limits to allow for social distancing.

CLC will continue to monitor data and reassess after spring break to determine if further adjustments are warranted.

“We are cautiously optimistic that this is the beginning of a trend toward a sense of relief and normalcy," Charlier said. "We also know that some level of uncertainty will continue to be part of this pandemic. As always, we’ll approach this carefully with a deep commitment to keeping people safe and being exciting to help students 'build their futures.'”

Our newsroom occasionally reports stories under a byline of "staff." Often, the "staff" byline is used when rewriting basic news briefs that originate from official sources, such as a city press release about a road closure, and which require little or no reporting. At times, this byline is used when a news story includes numerous authors or when the story is formed by aggregating previously reported news from various sources. If outside sources are used, it is noted within the story.

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