Albert Lea school board passes masking policy after heated meeting

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(ABC 6 News) – The Albert Lea School board voted 5-2 in favor of implementing the district’s new universal masking policy.

During the meeting on Monday night, there was a 10 minute public comment period in the beginning.

15 people had requested to speak, but the board only allowed five. There was a motion to allow more people to speak, but things got heated and the board went into recess.

They eventually came back and voted to end the public comment period and move on with the meeting.

Last Monday, the school district implemented a mask mandate after high COVID-19 transmission in Freeborn County. The board was going to then vote on the Resolution Health and Safety Measures 2021-2022, this was to decide whether or not to keep the mandate in place. They voted in favor to adopt this updated resolution.

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Under the new guidelines, the district will remain with a universal masking policy until the Freeborn County COVID-19 daily case rates, provided by the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, drop below 150 cases per 100,000 people for seven consecutive days.

If, after the masking mandate has been lifted, the county’s daily case rate rises above the 150 per 100,000 threshold, the superintendent will direct the district to resume universal masking for all kindergarten through 12th-grade students and staff.

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If the Freeborn County Covid daily rate is above 150 for seven consecutive days after the universal mask mandate has been lifted, the Superintendent will direct the district to resume universal masking for k-12 students and all staff.