Dickinson-Iron District Health Department issues mask order for schools
The order begins Monday, September 20 and impacts all school districts in Dickinson and Iron County
DICKINSON & IRON COUNTY, Mich. (WLUC) - The mandate says all students and staff in kindergarten through 6th grade will be required to wear masks, regardless of vaccination status. The order comes from the Dickinson-Iron District Health Department, and takes effect Monday.
“We should be able to pull it off, we’ll definitely implement to the best of our ability to start off and make modifications as we’re able to,” said David Holmes, Breitung Township Schools Superintendent.
Holmes said that implementing a mandate in a large district like Breitung will be challenging and fluid over the next few weeks. The mandate says that masks can come off 6 weeks after the vaccine is made available for children ages 5 through 11, the CDC transmission level reaches “low,” or until further notice. All school districts in Dickinson and Iron counties are implementing the same mandate.
“We didn’t have any forewarning, we saw that the same time everybody else did yesterday. Obviously communicated that out our staff and our families right away. I’m sure it was a hard decision for them just like it was for my board,” said Lou Steigerwald, Norway-Vulcan Area Schools Superintendent.
The Norway-Vulcan Area School Board voted on a mask mandate last week for students K through 6th grade, so this new guidance won’t change how the district runs. Both superintendents’ say their focus has not changed.
“Our focus is teaching and learning,” Holmes said. “There’s a lot of great things happening along with that in school day to day. We’re going to do our best implement things as we take care of our kids and provide a quality educational experience.”
Health Officer Daren Deyaert says, “This action is warranted and temporary to protect those who are not yet eligible to receive protection from the covid-19 vaccination.”
A full copy of the signed order can be found on the DIDHD website.
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