Late in the day Friday, May 14, 2021, the Iowa Department of Public Health provided updated guidance on the protocol for quarantining individuals who may have been exposed to COVID-19 in the school setting. The new protocol states that only students or staff who have a positive COVID-19 Test or are Symptomatic will be excluded from school. Exposed staff or children whether wearing masks or not should not be excluded from school.
Additionally, the new guidance urges schools and child care settings to provide parents and students with the option to make their own decision about mask usage. It also acknowledges that some parents, students, and staff may choose to continue to wear a mask due to not being fully vaccinated or due to a personal health condition or a personal health condition of a family member.
The ECSD Board of Directors reviewed and discussed the new guidance this evening at their regularly scheduled monthly meeting on May 19, 2021. Following discussion, the ECSD Board of Directors voted unanimously to the following change in mask policy as it relates to COVID-19:
Effective Immediately, masks are recommended not required on school grounds, vehicles, buses, and at school-sponsored events for those who have not been fully vaccinated.
ECSD asks that everyone respect the choices that parents, students, and staff make as to whether or not it is right for them to continue to wear a mask. We fully anticipate that we will see both those who choose to wear masks and those who do not. As a school community, we need to respect and honor this choice, heal, and move forward together.
Thanks for all that each of you has done to ensure that our students were able to experience a full school year and to participate in those activities that they are so passionate about.
Darren D. Hanna
Superintendent of SchoolsEmmetsburg Community School District