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State Fair 'strongly' urges guests to wear masks in new health guidance

In its most strongly worded message to patrons yet, fair officials also ask people to make an informed decision about attending the large-scale event.

FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. — While stopping short of a mandate, officials at the Minnesota State Fair "strongly urge" patrons who plan to attend to wear a face covering, both inside and out. 

The fair's official health guidance, posted on the Minnesota State Fair website, spells out recommendations for staying safe and reducing the chances of transmitting or becoming infected by COVID-19. 

Make an informed decision about attending the fair: Considered your personal health situation and how to best keep yourself and those close to you safe and healthy. The Minnesota Department of Health advises individuals who are not yet fully vaccinated, immunocompromised individuals and their caregivers to reduce COVID risk by using "layered protections" -  avoiding large gatherings, and wearing a face mask indoors and even outdoors when social distancing is not possible.  

Get vaccinated: While we will not require you to show proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test to enter the fair, if you’re not vaccinated and plan to attend we urge you to reconsider a vaccine, both for your safety and the safety of others. Fair organizers say It’s widely recognized that the vast majority of all current COVID-19 cases are among unvaccinated people. If you can’t get one beforehand the Minnesota Department of Health, Ramsey County and Homeland Health are teaming up to offer free vaccines right here in the North End Event Center during the fair; no identification or insurance required. 

Wear a face covering: Anyone age 2 or above and medically able is urged to wear a mask or face covering indoors (both vaccinated and unvaccinated people), outdoors in crowded settings like those often found at the fair, and at some independent vendor booths where EVERYONE is required to mask up. 

Fair organizers also remind patrons that federal regulations require everyone who rides public transit to the grounds in Falcon Heights to wear a mask. 

"The current health situation is not an ideal backdrop for the Great Minnesota Get-Together tradition," reads the official guidance posted on the State Fair website. "We understand that by urging rather than requiring people to follow current guidance, many of our usual fair fans will not be comfortable attending. We acknowledge that no event can be completely risk-free, and we’re counting on you to do your part to help us present as safe an event as we can by following this health guidance."

The fair is trying to help those with concerns about attending in making their decisions with two new tools. A new "Gopher Gauge" will soon be on the website to reflect how busy the fair is on that given day. "Three Fairchilds" (the fair mascot) means crowds are large and the fair is busy, while "One Fairchild" means things are quieter and crowds smaller. 

Potential visitors can also check out the fair's attendance history: Some days traditionally have half as many guests as a Saturday or Sunday. 

Along with following its health guidance policy, the Minnesota State Fair urges fairgoers to:

  • Social distance
  • Use sanitizer or wash hands frequently
  • Stay home if not feeling well
  • Get tested for COVID three to five days after attending

For the latest news on the fair you can sign up for e-news updates delivered right to your inbox. The latest info is also constantly updated on the state fair website.

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