VERMILLION, S.D. (KELO) – Students and staff at two Vermillion schools are masking up again. The temporary mask mandate started Monday and will go through January 23rd.

The Vermillion School District has a threshold set in place where if 1.5 percent of a building’s population tests positive for COVID-19, then a mask mandate would be put in place. That threshold was reached last week in both the middle school and the high school.

“Last Friday, we had ten cases in the high school and we had six cases at the middle school,” Damon Alvey, superintendent of Vermillion School District said.

The two week mask mandate applies to all Vermillion school buses as well.

“At this point students, what they have gone through, they just know it is what it is,” Paige Chapman, a Vermillon High School teacher said. “And yeah, you always hear a little bit of grumbling but for the most part, it’s been a positive feedback from most kids like, ‘yup, this is what we need to do for two weeks. We’ll do it, we’ll get through it and hopefully, our numbers will go back down.”

These students haven’t been required to wear masks since last school year.

“Our entire community, you know, has surrounded themselves around the school and want to do what’s safest for our students and nobody wants to return to remote learning,” Alvey said. “So if this is a small price to pay at this point, I think our students have bought in that this can get us to the next stage and get back to not having a mask mandate two weeks from now and everybody will be happy.”

In September, one of the district’s elementary schools had a two week mask mandate in place. That school has not reached its threshold of cases since.