North Iowa drops mask policy to comply with new state law

Andrew Shaw

Students and staff at North Iowa can finish out the school year without face masks, if they so choose, after Governor Kim Reynolds signed a bill last week prohibiting schools, cities, and counties from issuing mask mandates.

The North Iowa School Board originally planned to finish out the school year with its mask requirement in place, as the board decided to leave the policy alone following a lengthy discussion at its Monday, May 17 meeting. Following the bill signing late Wednesday night, North Iowa lifted its mask requirement on Thursday, and the school board made it official by updating the school policy at an emergency meeting Friday morning.

North Iowa Supt. Joe Erickson says the change has been well received for the most part. He says there are some parents and staff members with concerns, and everyone still has the option to wear a mask. He says the school will still be trying to do social distancing, when possible, and they will continue to do extra cleaning and limit visitors during the school day.

Erickson expects the school board will firm up their return to learn plan for the next school year in July, and he says they want to communicate clearly with parents about what things will look like in the fall with any potential COVID-19 precautions.



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