SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Active COVID-19 cases are up to 5,970 in South Dakota, according to the state department of health’s latest numbers. As the first couple weeks of school are wrapping up for students in the state, some districts are revisiting mask policies. The Huron School District is the third district to begin mandating masks again after Mitchell and Yankton.
There are 49 active cases in Beadle County right now according to the latest data, and the operations team for the county COVID-19 task force has requested that area schools begin requiring masks.
Starting Tuesday, the Huron School District is doing just that. They are moving to the threshold 3, or yellow, phase of their pandemic contingency plan. This was the phase they were in for the entirety of last school year. This requires all students and staff to wear masks indoors and on busses.
“We want to keep our students and our staff in school and safe,” Kraig Steinhoff, superintendent for the Huron School District said. “And we want to reduce the pressure on our medical providers and we want our parents to be available to go to work and that is done by having the kids be available to be in school and be healthy.”
Steinhoff says this plan is also in preparation for the possible rise in cases in the area following the state fair.
Within this phase, the schools will also put up their social distancing shields again in classrooms. Activities like field trips and assemblies will be suspended. However, extracurricular activities, like sports, will continue on as normal. Masks will be recommended for fans attending, but not required.