As a result of our district being labeled as "outbreak" status, the Board of Education has made the decision to follow the strong recommendation from MDH to mask our K-8 population for a short time period. This decision was not taken lightly. The district continues to have high positive rates amongst staff and students. This is causing disruptions to learning from many aspects.
The Board of Education respects the varying opinions on masking, however we do also want and need to keep our children safe and in school. We ask that you help us in this effort by supporting this decision for a short period of time to curb the spread.
Beginning Thursday, September 30th, all staff and students grades K-8 will be required to wear masks during school hours in the school building. This mask mandate will be in effect through Wednesday, October 20th.
The excerpt below is from MDH for Redwood's outbreak.
~Enforce face coverings at all times while indoors at school. We recommend implementing a universal mask mandate while indoors at school, which would likely be the easiest first step. As an added incentive, MDH and the CDC do offer a quarantine exemption for those who were exposed to a positive case in a K8 setting provided that all parties are wearing properly fitted face coverings (covering nose and mouth at all times).
What does this mean for K-8? With masks, grades K-8 contact tracing is limited and we are exempt from quarantine provisions with exceptions of positives and household contacts.
What does this mean for grades 9-12? Masks are still strongly recommended. When we don't wear masks, COVID exposure is more unknown and widespread, so contact tracing is not as conclusive. Notices still may be made, but quarantine is recommended with exception of positive and household contacts.
All Pre-K-12: It is recommended to do routine COVID testing, test if symptomatic, and stay home when sick. Due to the amount of potential COVID exposure we are not able to complete contact tracing on all cases at this time. COVID positives and household members of COVID positives need to quarantine.
As of 9/21 the district had 43 positive. Today 9/28 we are at 28. The majority of these cases are K-8. The Board of Education will review the case rate prior to October 20.