Do I need a mask: What are the Minnesota State Fair's COVID-19 guidelines?

Minnesota State Fair attendees will not be required to wear masks inside buildings on the fairgrounds during this year’s Great Minnesota Get-Together

Fair organizers were considering mandating masks indoors, however, the latest guidance says masks are recommended inside most buildings, but not required. They are also recommending people wear masks outdoors in crowded settings.

There are a few places on the fairgrounds where masks will be required, including the Care & Assistance and First Aid buildings, the North End Event Center to donate blood or get a vaccine, and to ride a trolley (if you are not vaccinated). Some independent vendor booths may also require fairgoers to wear masks while visiting their booths. 

Masks will also be required if you take a bus to the fairgrounds. If you take the Park & Ride buses, Metro Transit, Minnesota Valley Transit Authority or SouthWest Transit Express Buses, shuttles or other forms of mass transits, you will be required to wear a mask while waiting for and on the bus. 

Consider attending the fair on a weekday

There will be no daily attendance limit at the fair, but organizers are encouraging people to consider attending on a weekday instead of a weekend, when the fair is traditionally less busy. 

The Minnesota State Fair is launching a new website feature, dubbed the "Gopher Gauge" which will show how busy the fair is at a given time to help fairgoers choose when to visit. When the fairgrounds are open and less busy, the gauge will say "One Fairchild," and when it is moderately busy, it will show two. The gauge will be updated regularly throughout the fair day. 

Get tested after attending the fair 

Organizers are recommending attendees get tested for COVID-19 three to five days after attending the Minnesota State Fair. That recommendation is in line with the Minnesota Department of Health’s testing guidance for large events. 

Vaccine shots available at the fair 

Proof of vaccination will not be required to attend this year’s Great Minnesota Get-Together, but fair organizers are encouraging all fairgoers to get the COVID-19 vaccine

For those who are not vaccinated yet, the Minnesota Department of Health, Ramsey County and Homeland Health will be offering free vaccines at the North End Event Center during the fair—no ID or insurance required. 

The Minnesota State Fair starts Thursday, Aug. 26 and runs through Labor Day.