Atlantic Mask Mandate Continues Into March

(photo by Jennifer Nichols)

Washington Elementary Principal Stacey Hornung and Atlantic High School Principal Heather McKay gave their principal report during Wednesday’s meeting, and both were wearing masks as part of the district’s mask mandate. The mandate will continue until March 10.

ATLANTIC – The Atlantic School Board approved Wednesday night to continue the mask mandate for the district until March 10. After a short discussion, members agreed keeping the mandate in place until then to see what affect people getting vaccinated could have on the disease.

Atlantic Superintendent Steve Barber said public health officials were not sure when school officials were in line to receive COVID-19 vaccines, but said Cass County Public Health Director Beth Olsen thought the earliest time the vaccine may be available for them was the beginning of February.

Board member Kristy Pellett suggested continuing the mandate and discussing it again in March because they might know more how the disease is affecting people if they get vaccinated in February.

“If it’s going to take us until the first of February to start getting vaccinations out to teachers, let’s just (discuss it) at the March meeting,” Pellett said. “We would maybe have a little bit more knowledge (about it in March).”

The mandate went into effect back in October after the board started receiving numerous comments on the issue, including a letter from the Cass County Board of Health that advised the board to implement the mandate immediately. State health guidelines changed that month, including that a person who came into contact with an individual who had COVID-19 did not have to quarantine if both were wearing masks correctly. Prior to that change, the district only recommended face coverings. Because of that change, board member Nick Hunt thought the issue should be reconsidered.

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