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Family Updates (English)

2021.5.20: COVID updates and resources

Face coverings required indoors for remainder of school year

As we shared last week, despite the state lifting it’s mask mandate, MPS will continue to require everyone to wear masks indoors in our schools, buses and other MPS buildings for the remainder of the school year. Face coverings are no longer required outdoors, such as during recess. This is aligned with the Minnesota Department of Education’s position, the City of Minneapolis and now the latest CDC recommendation

MPS will share its face covering policy for its summer programs at a later date.

NOTE: Minnesotans who are not fully vaccinated are strongly recommended to wear face coverings indoors.


Free COVID-19 vaccines now available for students 12 years and older 

Children ages 12 to 17 years-old can now get the two-shot Pfizer vaccine at state community vaccine sites such as the Mall of America in Bloomington and Roy Wilkins Auditorium in Saint Paul. Vaccines are free. Families can also use the Vaccine Locator Map to find other locations

Health officials strongly encourage children in this age group to get vaccinated as soon as possible as it will help protect those who are not yet able to be vaccinated, like younger siblings.

Adolescents, like adults, may have some side effects after getting the vaccine, which are normal and a sign that their body is building protection against the virus. Side effects may include:

  • Pain, redness or swelling where the shot is given in the arm.
  • Tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever or nausea. 

A parent or guardian must provide their consent for their child to get vaccinated as follows:

  • 12- to 15-year-olds must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
  • 16- and 17-year-olds must receive permission from a parent or guardian, either in person or online beforehand through the appointment scheduling and registration process.
  • Families are also encouraged to get vaccinated at the same time as their children.

Remember: Individuals are not fully vaccinated until two weeks after their second Pfizer shot.


Free COVID saliva tests for students and families 

There are several ways that families can get free saliva testing for their children and themselves. The saliva test is just as accurate as the nasal swabs test. While both adults and children can use these tests, they may not work as well for children under age 4 as they may not have enough saliva for the test. An adult 18 years or older must request a test for a child. 

School social workers also have take-home saliva tests that families can request for their child or other family members. Call your school to request a saliva test kit and other instructions.

Families can also request a saliva test from the Minnesota Department of Health. 

14-Day Student Quarantine Reminder

Quarantining means keeping physically separate from others. If you have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, you should quarantine for 14 days. People with COVID-19 can infect others before they start to feel sick or may never have any symptoms of having COVID-19. This is why it’s important to quarantine as it provides time to see if you have gotten COVID-19.

By staying away from others, you can help protect them and slow the spread of the virus. While there are times when the quarantine time can be shorter, MPS will continue to require all students to quarantine the full 14 days. This timeframe is based on the advice of the Minneapolis Health Department and other health experts. Health experts also recommend that people in quarantine get tested 5-7 days after coming into contact with some with COVID-19; however, a negative test does not shorten the quarantine time.