Owatonna Schools To Require Masks For All Students & Staff Starting Tomorrow
Beginning tomorrow, all Owatonna schools district buildings will require those who enter to be wearing a mask for the next two weeks.
The announcement comes from Owatonna Superintendent Jeff Elstad, and the masking requirement will be in effect no matter what a person's vaccination status is through January 26th.
According to the school district's website, as of today January 11th, 122 staff were absent due to illness and more than 450 students were out "due to influenza-like/COVID-like illness" in the district.
The 467 students out with "influenza-like/COVID-like illnesses" amounts to roughly 8.4 percent of all students in the district.
The COVID-19 section of the district website states:
"Owatonna Public Schools will use a "scalpel" approach when making decisions within buildings in the district. Using this approach, we closely monitor every building in the district on a daily basis to keep our students and staff safe. Decisions are based on several pieces of data, including the percentage of COVID-like symptoms and confirmed cases within our school sites. In addition, recommendations from Steele County Public Health are reviewed and considered."
So far in Steele County, according to Steele County Public Health, since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been more than 7,900 cases with 60 being reported on January 11th and 45 cumulative deaths.
We've reached out to superintendent Elstad for comment in regards to the masking requirement.