Anoka-Hennepin School District to require masking in schools with COVID-19 outbreaks

The Anoka-Hennepin School District sent a message to families announcing a plan to shift from using county-level data to school-level data. This means that mitigation strategies and decision-making will only be based on COVID-19 numbers within the school district.

This change in strategy is based on the availability of COVID vaccines for ages 5-11.

The new guidelines are set to begin Jan. 18.

Face coverings or masks will be recommended but not required for everyone in all grade levels. Face coverings will be required if 5% or more of students at a school test positive for COVID-19 regardless of vaccination status for 10 school days or 2 weeks.

Elementary school classrooms will require face coverings for 10 school days or 2 weeks if there are three or more active student cases in the same week.

Adventures Plus programming will follow the same guidelines as the K-12 buildings.

Federal requirements dictate that masks are required on student transportation.

The school district added that it will maintain mitigation efforts such as the Needlepoint Bipolar Ionization system and enhanced air quality standards, hand sanitizer stations and enhanced cleaning methods. Infected students and staff will be asked to quarantine.

The message states that the district will not conduct contact tracing "unless circumstances require."

There are also no restrictions on group sizes or social distancing requirements.

Protocols are subject to change based on school conditions.

The district says it will continue to promote vaccinations and distribute at-home COVID testing kits.