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Duluth Public Schools makes masks optional

Citing low COVID-19 community transmission levels, the district announced it will make masks optional starting Monday, March 7.

Face mask photo
Dreamstime / TNS

Mask-wearing will be optional at Duluth Public Schools effective Monday.

According to a news release Friday, the district's decision to switch to optional mask-wearing was made after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention placed St. Louis County in the "low" COVID-19 community transmission level.

According to the CDC website, "low transmission levels" means there are fewer than 200 transmissions in a population of 100,000, with a low percentage of staffed inpatient beds occupied by COVID patients within seven days.

“We’ve all been awaiting the time that we can safely remove our masks in our schools and I am pleased to inform everyone that we have reached that point while continuing to follow the guidance of our health experts,” Superintendent John Magas said in the news release. “We also want students, staff and families to know we fully support those who still want to wear masks. Bullying or harassment of any kind will not be tolerated.”

District administration will consider implementing a 10-day mask mandate if transmission levels within district buildings become high. Parents, staff and students will be notified no later than Friday afternoon each week and the 10-day mask mandate will take place the following Monday.

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The administration will continue to communicate self-reported COVID numbers by building through its weekly newsletter.

The district recommends families and staff be prepared for a possible switch and keep masks on hand.

For more information on community transmission levels, visit cdc.gov.

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