School Board removes mask mandate, “strongly encourages” mask usage starting on Feb. 23

On+Monday%2C+Feb.+14%2C+the+Edina+School+Board+unanimously+voted+to+strongly+recommend+masks+rather+than+continue+the+previous+universal+mandate.

On Monday, Feb. 14, the Edina School Board unanimously voted to strongly recommend masks rather than continue the previous universal mandate.

Isadora Li, managing editor

On Monday, Feb. 14, the Edina School Board unanimously voted to strongly recommend masks rather than continue the previous universal mandate.

The school board’s decision was spearheaded by a recommendation from Superintendent Stacie Stanley; Stanley’s policy is based on recent COVID trends in Edina and throughout Edina Public Schools. The decreasing case rates and increasing levels of vaccination are two factors that contributed to the recommendation.

COVID cases will continue to be monitored for changes that might require action; the superintendent plans to use an approach that compares current absence rates with those from two years ago. Board Chair Erica Allenburg voiced support for seeing a report at the March 7 meeting that examines the change in metrics.

Board member Julie Greene attributed the decision to Edina’s previous mitigation strategies. 

“We brought forward and tried to have a comprehensive approach to COVID,” Greene said. ”We are at this point where we can look at our mitigation strategies and roll one back, because of the comprehensive approach that we took: vaccine clinics, testing, hours by administrators to keep our kids in schools and we have not taken our eye off education in the last two years.”

The mask recommendation policy begins on Feb. 23. Until then, masks are required in all EPS buildings. Students returning from five-day quarantines will be required to mask in cooperation with current quarantine standards.