Message from the Office of the President: New vaccination policy for University events

January 14, 2022

Dear students, faculty and staff,

From the outset of this pandemic, we have committed to creating and maintaining campus communities that are as safe, if not safer, than the communities around us. With your help, we have honored this commitment by implementing a multi-layered approach that includes vaccinations and boosters, masks in all University facilities statewide, and flexibility in how we learn, teach, and work.

We have taken these steps as a responsible Minnesota institution, but also as caring, sympathetic, and informed Minnesotans. Today, we find ourselves in a new challenge. We all feel the stress the Omicron surge is creating, particularly on our healthcare system. We are watching U of M trained physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and others strain to carry their unceasing workload. We are listening to stories of our students and graduates who serve in overcrowded facilities and worry for their patients. We must think of health and safety, but in a context of how many in our University family need our support.

Against this backdrop, on Wednesday, the mayors of Minneapolis and Saint Paul announced that guests of restaurants and other entertainment venues in their cities must show they are vaccinated before entering, effective January 19.

We have carefully considered how similar steps could enhance the University’s COVID-19 response and contribute responsibly to our communities. In alignment with our commitment to public health, today we are announcing a new, temporary proof of vaccination policy. This policy will be in effect from Wednesday, January 26 through at least Wednesday, February 9 at indoor events on any University campus—both in the Twin Cities and across the state.

This includes all University events with attendance of 200 or more, including events at our facilities that are rented or leased by third parties. For example, athletic contests (all sports), as well as theater and musical performances, will require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test for guests who are not UMN students, faculty, or staff. This policy does not include dining halls or our normal academic instruction. If you have questions about whether a specific event is included in this policy, please email

For Students, Faculty, and Staff:

  • You need only show a UCard as proof of compliance with this policy to gain entry to events. After reviewing forms of submitted data from faculty, staff, and students, we are confident that our community is overwhelmingly vaccinated.

For All Others:

  • To enter the events described above, individuals ages five and older must show proof of vaccination or a negative, third-party COVID-19 test taken in the previous 72 hours.

In consultation with medical and public health experts, and healthcare system leaders, we will re-evaluate the policy as the course of the Omicron surge and its impact on local hospitals changes. Any policy extension will be announced prior to February 9.

Fans, guests, or visitors should watch for additional information from individual venues. For those who work on events impacted by the policy, we have posted FAQs for event planners on our Safe Campus website and will continue to add to those in the coming days.

Our students, faculty, and staff have set wonderful examples of how high rates of vaccination, wearing masks, staying home when ill, and taking other simple steps to prevent illness have helped slow the spread of COVID-19 over the past two years. This temporary approach to public gathering spaces is another step, at a critical moment, that will hopefully reduce stress on our overtaxed healthcare system and yield benefits for us all. I appreciate your partnership in navigating the weeks ahead.

With warmest wishes,
Joan Gabel