News Item
Minnesota Judicial Branch Lifts Statewide Order Requiring Face Coverings

Posted: Friday, March 4, 2022


Face coverings may be required based on CDC guidelines pending local pandemic conditions

The Minnesota Judicial Branch today announced it is lifting the statewide order requiring face coverings in all court facilities effective March 7, 2022.
“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,” said Chief Justice Lorie S. Gildea. “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 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (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 Chief Justice Gildea lifts the requirement of a face covering for every person entering a court facility beginning March 7, 2022. The Chief Judge in each Judicial District is authorized to require face coverings in court facilities in the districts or counties that are designated as a “high” COVID-19 Community Level in accordance with the new CDC guidelines. 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 that prioritizes health and safety.
The Judicial Branch encourages people to stay home if ill and to self-screen for symptoms or exposure before entering a court facility. People exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, or who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 within 5 days of when they need to enter a court facility, are asked to contact the court or their attorneys rather than go to the courthouse.
For more information, see the Judicial Branch COVID-19 webpage.