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Mason City Schools superintendent says district will “strongly encourage” mask use, but can’t mandate it

MASON CITY — Parents of students in the Mason City Community School District will be getting updated COVID-19 guidelines next week in preparation for the upcoming school year.Earlier this week during a workshop session of the school board,

Superintendent Dave Versteeg went through some of the changes and says while schools can no longer mandate masks to be worn in schools, the district will strongly encourage anyone not vaccinated to do so.  “A year ago we required masks, and now we are not allowed to, and so that’s just reflected in there. We do support people who do wear them and recommend it for people who are not vaccinated, no matter their age.”

Versteeg says students 12 years and older should consider getting vaccinated if they haven’t done so already. He says the district did have some vaccination clinics this summer but they weren’t well attended.   “We’re continuing to work with public health on more access to students and staff if that’s what they would like us to do. The participation rates in those clinics have been very low, and I believe they’ve ended all those clinics now and are just asking people to report to public health if they are interested. They can just call and make an appointment, they can go and get vaccinated. The clinic we had at Lincoln School in mid-July had 25 people come total, students and adults. It wasn’t very well attended at all.”

COVID-19 vaccinations and other vaccinations needed for school will also be available as part of Community Health Center of Mason City’s “Back to School Block Party” event on August 12th from 5:00 to 8:00 PM at their location at 404 North Federal.

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