ISD 518 Requires Masks in Facilities to Follow Governor Ordered Mask Mandate

ISD 518 will be implementing practices following the mandate by Governor Tim Walz requiring staff and students to utilize face coverings when in district facilities. Governor Walz’s mandate includes public indoor spaces and indoor businesses. Families are asked to supply masks for ISD 518 students when in ISD 518 facilities.

This requirement is one of the many tools that ISD 518 will be using to keep students, staff, and the entire District 518 community healthy. Other practices including a self-screening process for all students, staff, and visitors entering ISD 518 facilities, limiting visitors to ISD 518 facilities, enhanced cleaning and disinfection practices, as well as other measures are being implemented across the district.

On Wednesday, July 22nd, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz released Executive Order 20-81, requiring face coverings in public indoor spaces and indoor businesses beginning July 25th, 2020. Masks are required for all in these spaces, with the exception of those who are 5 years of age or younger or anyone with a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that makes it unreasonable for the individual to maintain a face covering.

Also included in these exceptions are special scenarios for school staff. This includes the flexibility for district staff to wear face shields instead of face covering masks so that facial expressions and lip movements may be more visible for the purpose of education.

The commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE), Mary Cathryn Ricker, released a message of support for this mandate to school administrators. The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has also included this new face covering mandate into their Fall Planning Guidance document that is available for use by schools when planning for the start of the 2020-2021 school year.

For more information on Governor Tim Walz’s executive orders, visit Minnesota’s page containing the orders. For more information on ISD 518’s plans and practices concerning COVID-19, please visit ISD 518’s Distance Learning and COVID-19 Information page.

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