As school year begins, COVID-19 precautions linger across metro area

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Although some students in Minnesota have already returned to class, even more will go back to school Tuesday morning.

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Many parents and students are excited about heading back to school this year, ready for possibly a normal school year after disruptions caused by COVID-19 in recent years.

However, there are still some precautions in place, varying by district.

In the state’s largest district, Anoka-Hennepin, masks, COVID-19 testing and vaccinations are all optional.

Minneapolis Public Schools will rely on community levels to determine its approach to masking. Currently, masks are optional with low levels of COVID-19 transmission, and they will be recommended at high transmission levels. The district will meet to decide any additional action.

Meanwhile, in St. Paul Public Schools, masks are optional with low levels in Ramsey County. However, if COVID hits high levels, masks will be required.

Many parents say they’re feeling more at ease about the first day of classes this year.

“We had it and it was really, really mild when our kids had it and so it’s something that we’ll keep our kids home if they’re sick, but I’m not feeling worried about it at this point,” said Megan Omdal, a parent in Minneapolis.

The health department adds the majority of older teens are vaccinated, but for students ages 5-11, the vaccination rate is at about 44%.

Tuesday morning, Gov. Tim Walz and Minnesota Department of Education Commissioner Heather Mueller stopped by Zanewood Community School in Brooklyn Park to welcome students back for the new school year.

Watch that video via the player below.

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