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Schools to maintain mask rules

NEW ULM – Local schools will maintain a mask requirement despite the end of the state’s mask mandate.

Gov. Tim Walz ended the state’s mask mandate Friday by lifting an executive order that has been in place since July.

State health officials are still recommending those not fully vaccinated either get the vaccine or remain masked. Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidance still calls for wearing masks in crowded indoor settings.

Under this new order, business will be free to make their own decisions about whether masks are required. However, this does not apply to schools.

New Ulm Superintendent Jeff Bertrang said the governor’s executive order does not lift mask mandates for schools. Schools are still required to continue using their safe learning plan. New Ulm’s safe learning plan requires face coverings while on school properties and buses.

Principal Peter Markgraf confirmed St. Paul’s Lutheran school would continue to following their safe learning plan and require masks.

A change in state policy could be made for schools in near future, but with the school year coming to an end within the next few weeks it is likely Minnesota schools will maintain a mask policy through the end of the school year.

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