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University of Minnesota professors call for vaccine mandate on campus

Many faculty members say they are anxious about returning to the classroom as COVID-19 cases are surging due to the delta variant of the virus.

MINNEAPOLIS — A growing number of professors and staff at the University of Minnesota are calling on the school to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations this fall. 

Many faculty members say they are anxious about returning to the classroom as COVID-19 cases surge due to the delta variant of the virus. More than 500 people have signed a letter supporting a vaccine mandate. 

The University of Minnesota chapter of the American Association of University Professors says there is broad frustration and deep anger among faculty about unsafe reopening policies. 

The university is among a handful of colleges in the Big Ten that aren't requiring COVID-19 vaccines. U of M President Joan Gabel announced a mask mandate Monday, saying all students, staff, faculty, contractors, and visitors, regardless of vaccination status, will need to wear facial coverings while indoors starting Tuesday, Aug. 3. 

RELATED: University of Minnesota brings back indoor mask requirement, vaccinated or not

The requirement applies to all of the university's campuses, offices and facilities across the state.