Wayzata Public Schools, located outside of Minneapolis, voted to end its mask mandates for students in kindergarten through 12th grade.
The district pointed to low coronavirus numbers, and 76 percent of their students have received the COVID-19 vaccine.
“We have continued to follow guidance from the Minnesota Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and have closely monitored our local COVID transmission and positivity rates. Our local case rates have been declining in the last few weeks and are currently significantly lower than they have been since the spike of the Omicron variant during January, with epidemiologists expecting that this downward trend will continue,” Superintendent Chace B. Anderson said in a statement to parents.
“As a result of K-12 vaccination rates that are currently over 76% district-wide and declining COVID cases, effective Tuesday, February 22, 2022, the Wayzata School Board has approved moving from ‘required masking’ to ‘recommended masking’ for students and staff in grades K-12, transition students, volunteers and visitors during normal school hours.”
Children whose parents’ remain concerned about the virus will be able to continue to wear a mask.
However, a mandate will remain in place for students and staff at the pre-kindergarten level until vaccines are approved for the age group.
In Minnesota, cases have continued to decline, as the positive test rate has dropped 10 points in one month.
However, despite the drop in cases, some leaders have remained hesitant to drop the face-covering requirement. For example, students in Minneapolis Public Schools are still subjected to the mandate, as the city requires them for “businesses and places of public accommodation.”
Notably, Minneapolis and St. Paul just lifted the requirement to show proof of vaccination or a negative test in order to enter a restaurant, bar, or entertainment venue.
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