Schools reconsider the mask policy has COVID cases plateau

Zack Gale, Staff Reporter

The decision to revisit our mask policy has been made. With the vaccination rates increasing and positive cases decreasing, on March 15st, a district meeting was held that discussed the masking policy, changing masks from required to highly suggested.

Hopkins elementary students are currently around 60% vaccinated, middle school and high school students are 75% vaccinated, and 95% of Hopkins staff vaccinated. There are only 14 confirmed cases of COVID-19 for all students and less than ten confirmed cases for all staff in Hopkins. 

In the past week, a few schools dropped the mask policy as well. Edina Public Schools dropped their district mask policy with the mandate being lifted on Wednesday after observing a noticeable drop in COVID-19 cases and an increase in vaccination rates. Following Edina, schools have made similar changes. 

Starting next week, Eden Prairie schools will remove their mask mandate. The Wayzata School District and The Stillwater School District voted to remove their mask mandate for all students due to the decline in positive tests. The Osseo School District is also making changes to the mask requirements. 

Their model is similar to the Anoka Hennepin School District’s adopted last month. They are implementing a “school-by-school” masking model with three levels to express the severity of COVID-19 cases. Green (masks are not required), yellow (covers are strongly recommended) and red (masks are required).

Moving forward, the Hopkins mask mandate changes will be closely monitored. The COVID-19 mitigation team will closely look at the positive cases and make necessary adjustments to make Hopkins a COVID-safe environment.