School bus riders need masks under federal law

Andrew Shaw

Students won’t be required to wear face coverings at school as they return to classes at North Iowa this week, but some students will still need to wear masks on their way to and from school.

A change in Iowa law in May forbid schools from enforcing mask mandates at school, and North Iowa responded by promptly changing their policy that had been in place for most of last school year, but a federal law will require students to continue wearing masks when they ride the school bus.

North Iowa Supt. Joe Erickson says the law in question covers public transportation, and the Iowa Department of Education put out guidance a few weeks ago saying school buses are included under that law. Students riding on activity buses will need to wear masks, as well.

North Iowa is also making some changes to its policies regarding when students need to quarantine due to COVID-19. Students who test positive for COVID-19 will be required to isolate for 10 days, but students who are in close contact with a positive case will no longer be required to quarantine. The school will continue to conduct contact tracing and alert parents when their students have been in close contact with someone who is positive for the illness.



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