Illnesses push Tea Area schools to bring back masks


TEA, S.D. (KELO) — The Tea Area School District is shifting to a mask mandate due to the number of COVID-19 and flu cases.

According to an email sent by Superintendent Jennifer Nebelsick Lowery, the district has 36 active COVID-19 cases. That along with other illnesses makes staffing a concern, Nebelsick Lowery wrote in the message.

The district is now shifting to yellow status for two weeks, which includes a mask requirement. That will start on Wednesday and last until January 26.

Tea Area says teachers have created mask break areas.

Masks are also being brought back in the Vermillion and Worthington school districts due to illness concerns.

The state of South Dakota reported an increase in COVID-19 cases of more than 4,000 on Tuesday, with the number of people dealing with an active case climbing more than 3,000 to 20,475 people.

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