Amidst the recent surge of COVID-19 cases in West Michigan, another public school system has announced mask requirements.

Earlier this week, Holland Public Schools released their COVID protocols for the start of the school year and it included a mask requirement for all staff, students, and visitors regardless of vaccination status.  The school system has no vaccination requirement, but encourages everyone who can receive a COVID vaccination to get one.

The COVID protocols also include other transmission mitigation efforts that were used in the previous school year.  Some of those include:

  • Social distancing of 6 feet where possible
  • Meals eaten in classrooms or at assigned seats in cafeterias
  • Self-screening of symptoms before entry into buildings
  • Quarantines in response to COVID outbreaks

In Holland Public School's statement about the COVID protocols, they say that they were put in place after hearing the "latest information, guidelines, and strong recommendations from local and state public health officials."

In an article from MLive.com, Superintendent Shanie Keelean is quoted as saying “Starting the school year with a requirement in place for everyone to wear a mask is the best way to ensure that our students and staff stay in school without getting/contracting COVID or being sent home due to a quarantine. Our hope is that we will be able to take the masks off soon.”

Holland Public Schools joins a growing number of West Michigan public school systems who are requiring masks for the 2021-22 school year.  We will keep you up to date with mask mandates as the fall approaches and more and more public spaces, businesses, and schools are recommending and mandating them.

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