Minnesota State Fair strongly urges visitors to wear masks

Published 12:21 pm Wednesday, August 18, 2021

MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota State Fair officials strongly urged fairgoers Wednesday to mask up both inside and outside but stopped short of imposing any mandates to fight the highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus at the Great Minnesota-Get Together.

Fair officials issued updated health guidance urging masks indoors for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people; outdoors in crowded settings, especially for the unvaccinated; and at some booths where vendors will require everyone inside to wear a mask. They acknowledged that the new guidance could put a dent in attendance, which normally tops 2 million.

“We understand that by urging rather than requiring people to follow current guidance, many of our usual fair fans will not be comfortable attending,” the guidance said. “We ask that those who attend do so because they are willing to follow our health guidance – not because it’s mandated, but because it’s the right thing to do.”

The statement noted that the vast majority of new COVID-19 cases in Minnesota are among unvaccinated people. The fair isn’t requiring proof of vaccination or recent negative coronavirus tests. But visitors who can’t get vaccinated can get a free COVID-19 shot at North End Event Center during the fair.

The Minnesota State Fair opens next Thursday, Aug. 26, and runs through Labor Day.