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Minn. Judicial Branch lifts statewide order requiring face coverings in court facilities

The chief judge in each judicial district is authorized to require face coverings in court facilities in the districts or counties designated as a “high” COVID-19 Community Level by the CDC.

A gavel sits on a desk in a courtroom
Photo illustration

ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Judicial Branch on Friday announced it is lifting the statewide order requiring face coverings in court facilities, effective Monday, March 7.

“The Judicial Branch has relied on data and the guidance from state and federal public health experts to inform how the courts manage our operations during the pandemic,” stated Chief Justice Lorie S. Gildea in a news release. “In light of declining COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in our state, and consistent with updated mask-related guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we are lifting the statewide requirement for face coverings in Judicial Branch facilities.”

Under current guidance from the CDC, wearing a mask indoors in public is a recommended prevention step only for counties at a “high” COVID-19 Community Level .

A new order issued by Gildea lifts the requirement of a face covering for every person entering a court facility beginning Monday. The chief judge in each judicial district is authorized to require face coverings in court facilities in the districts or counties designated as a “high” COVID-19 Community Level by the CDC. Individuals who prefer to wear a face covering may continue to do so. Face coverings will be provided by court staff upon request.

The order continues to require that state district courts, appellate courts and other judicial branch facilities meet conditions established by the Judicial Branch COVID-19 Preparedness Plan to manage in-person activities in a manner prioritizing health and safety. For more information, visit mncourts.gov/Emergency .

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