UMinn students, staff face vaccination or regular testing

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The University of Minnesota System will join hundreds of colleges nationwide in requiring a COVID-19 vaccination for students and staff at its five campuses.

The mandate approved by the Board of Regents on Friday will take effect once the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gives final approval to a coronavirus vaccine and not just emergency use status. Full approval is expected in the coming weeks.

Faculty and staff at the Twin Cities, Duluth, Rochester, Crookston and Morris campuses must either get vaccinated or undergo regular COVID-19 testing.

“Looking at what is happening currently, and what appears to be on the horizon with the rise of new variants and case counts nationwide, the Board supported the vaccine mandate for our students to provide the best possible chance for safe, in-person and uninterrupted University experiences this fall,” said regents Chairman Ken Powell.

The University will allow medical and religious exemptions to this mandate. The University of Minnesota campuses educate about 67,000 students and employ 26,000 people.

System leaders said they will soon share more details about the vaccination requirement, including how much time students will have to get the shots after FDA approval and any consequences for not complying with the mandate.

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